Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Radhi Al-Mabuk


The purpose of this paper is to describe and highlight the role of empathy and sympathy in character education. More specifically, the bridging function of empathy and sympathy to civility and their role in promoting development in the context of forgiveness will be emphasized. The paper is organized in five major parts. The first one consists of an introduction and a brief historical overview of character education followed by a discussion of the aims of character education and the school’s role in nurturing it. In the second part, an argument is made for forgiveness as a means of promoting development and enabling the individual to be an effective moral agent through the use of empathy and sympathy. In the third part, definitions and description of empathy are provided, steps of empathy are elaborated, and cautions in the use of empathy are offered. The fourth part defines and describes sympathy, its steps, and offers precautions in the use of sympathy. The fifth and final part gives a conclusion and offers implications for promoting use of empathy and sympathy as tools to strengthening character by restoring physical and socio-emotional well-being.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.