Lower School faculty member Gord Wotherspoon is fascinated by how in Grade 6, students begin to form passionate opinions and beliefs about certain topics.
Says Wotherspoon, “You can walk into a classroom and see them ferociously arguing a point. Maybe it is why Auston Matthews will be a better hockey player than Sidney Crosby or vice versa? It could be whether or not taxes are good or bad.” The boys can be passionately invested in their point of view but often they form their opinions with a limited viewpoint or a one-sided perspective.
This observation sparked Mr. Wotherspoon to consider whether essential questions used to better understand multiple perspectives might enhance empathy in Grade 6 boys. He is currently exploring this hypothesis within his Grade 6 social studies classes. The boys will examine immigration from various angles, expanding the way they understand each issue.
Mr. Wotherspoon has created surveys, question sheets and reflections to gauge the boys’ journey through his study. His findings will be presented at the 2018 International Boys’ School Coalition conference being held in Queensland, Australia.