Online Zoom Forum: Empathy Education and Education of the Heart:
Spiritual, Social, and Policy Perspectives.

Date: Wednesday 20 September 2023.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).

Event Description:

Format: There will be five talks, each of 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion among the speakers, the chair, and the audience, followed by Q & A.




Prof Bart McGettrick:

Bio: Professor Bart McGettrick is Emeritus Professor of Education and Dean Emeritus, of the Faculty of Education at the University of Glasgow. He was the first Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Glasgow. He was Professor of Christian Education at Liverpool Hope University and Dean of the Faculty of Education at that university.

He is Chairman of the International Board of Regents of Bethlehem University (Palestine). He is a member of the Board of Regents of the American University of Madaba (Jordan). He holds other positions in international groups and committees in education and beyond. He has undertaken work with the First Nations of Canada, and worked on projects in India, Lithuania and other challenging settings overseas. He is a regular contributor to national and international conferences and conventions across the world, on topics as varied as Teacher Education, Assessment, Management, Personal and Social Education, Education for Citizenship, Values Education, Character Education, University Education, etc.

He is a Patron of the International Values Education Trust.


Alan McLean:

Title: The Emotion-Ring: Emotional Mastery Over Mystery.

Description: While we are born with a starter set of emotions, we learn to feel a broader range, but did you know we can learn to feel more? Well-being is not so much feeling good as being good at feeling. The Emotion-Ring is a template of emotion concepts, organised by their purpose that can help us develop emotional understanding, cultivate uplifting emotions and address challenging emotions. The talk will introduce the thinking behind the Emotion Ring, and its practical applications.

Bio: I was formerly a Principal Psychologist in Glasgow. Early in my career I taught Modern Studies in a secondary school and in a school for children with emotional problems. I wrote the staff development packs- Promoting Positive Behaviour in the Primary, Promoting Positive Behaviour in the Secondary and the award winning Bullyproofing Our School. I had a weekly column in The Scotsman for several years and was a regular contributor to the TES Scotland.

My first book - The Motivated School was published by Sage in 2003. This has been translated into Chinese and Italian. My second book – Motivating Every Learner was published in May 2009. The University of Kiev translated both books into Ukrainian. My third book - Knowing and Growing; Insights for Developing Ourselves and other was published in 2017, by the Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing Press. It’s currently being translated into Ukrainian. I am currently completing two book - Emotions: Mastery Over Mystery, and The Compendium of Emotions.

My recent work is freely available on in the form of self-reflection and emotional coaching tools for students, teachers, and parents.

Kate Whiteley:

Title: High 5 Club! Exploring emotions with parents and their children.

Description: Kate will share insights from a recent pilot of emotions workshops with a small group of 9 year olds and their parents. These sessions used Alan McLean's Emotion Ring to profile how they were feeling and to explore their most significant emotions.

Bio: Kate Whiteley, a Primary Headteacher for 13 years, has had a lifelong passion for helping children to thrive. As a Principal teacher in the 1990s she developed a school assertiveness training programme commissioned by the Scottish Government "Being Cool in School" to help children manage their responses to thoughts and feelings. Kate continues to prioritise helping them to make sense of their emotions as core to their health and wellbeing.

Phyllida Anam Aire:

Title: Empathy Education, and Education of the Heart.

Description: To feel empathy the heart needs to be engaged.

It seems to me that empathy flows to others once self-compassion is truly experienced.

I will joyfully lead us into a short reflection on the Universal Heart and ask, if overwhelming our own hearts with the sufferings of the world is what true empathy is
about or, if this is more about being over symbiotic and over attached?

Can the heart be educated?

I believe that the heart holds wisdom beyond so called education - we just don’t listen with presence to it.

Bio: I just love being a fully paid-up participant in this amazing drama of Life. Somehow, I don’t see it as MY Life rather, I have the awful privilege of being called to experience a very short spiral in this dramatic and dynamic mystery of Love made flesh.

Nearing my 80th birthday is such a rich and splendid privilege, one that fills me with deep gratitude to Life Itself. Joy has been a constant companion these past years.

Áine Críseá Murphy:

Title: Education with Soul: nurturing empathy, understanding and compassion in the classroom.

Description: Education without soul is just another form of indoctrination where the joy of knowledge gets drowned in a plethora of rules and facts. Conscious teaching brings empathy, understanding and compassion to the classroom.

Bio: Aine has worked for almost 30 years as an educator in schools. She started her career as a drama teacher but now has evolved into teaching mindfulness meditation, aspects of yoga, sounding bowls and Celtic Consciousness. Her creative work with children who are blind is both innovative and challenging.

Reiko Goto Collins:

Title: Environmental Art: HAKOTO, empathic relationship with a tree and the environment.

Description: My artistic subject matter is the life of nature.

By contemplating nature, I seek to renew my own identity.

My artistic practice and research interests revolve around empathic relationship with living things and their environment. Tim Collins and I have created Plein Air, a sound sculpture, that allows us to listen to trees and atmospheric changes such as light, temperature, humidity, and CO2. The audience experiences photosynthesis and transpiration of a leaf attached to the tree as complex sound and dynamic rhythm. Plein Air has been exhibited since 2012. The artwork intends to create empathic experience between a human and a tree in a shared environment.

In 2023 HAKOTO is a body-instrument created with upgraded and miniature technology, two instruments to be used for outdoor installations and performances. It has been shown at Knockvologan, Isle of Mull, Hamiltonhill Claypits Local Nature Reserve, Glasgow, The Children's Wood and North Kelvin Meadow, Glasgow, and the Timber Festival at The National Forest, Leicestershire. Currently (14-29 September, 2023) Goto and Collins are Artists in Residence at Leitrim Sculpture Centre in Manorhamilton, Ireland. They are using HAKOTO to explore sphagnum moss on blanket bogs and in raised bogs in Ireland.

HAKOTO has been developed the Collins + Goto Studio by Reiko Goto and Tim Collins with Chris Malcolm, Composition and Programming. Jim Watt, Technical Artist, and Hardware specialist, Blair Thompson, Hardware Designer and Programmer.

Bio: Reiko Goto Collins, is a principal in the Collins + Goto Studio. She is an environmental artist. Goto’s practice is based on empathic relationships with living things. Her philosophical ideas about empathy began with a study of Edith Stein’s writing (1989) and more recently with Charles Sanders Peirce (1992, 1998). Goto’s practical research has occurred over three decades of work in relationship with caring for a range of creatures and vegetative living things. Current work (2023) in the studio is focused on HAKOTO, a body instrument that refines the practice and performance of listening to photosynthesis and transpiration in a single tree leaf. A developmental residency occurred at Knockvologan on the Isle of Mull in May. In June four experts in ethnomusicology, composition, art and sound curating and theatre assembled to refine the work with the studio. In July the twin pair of instruments were used to perform a series of climate duets in the National Forest with the Timber Festival. The current effort is documented here ( Earlier work with trees and the environment includes “Plein Air”, a sound sculpture that deals with a tree leaf’s physiological responses to the atmospheric changes. It has been shown in Belgium (2022), North Carolina (2019), Cologne (2016) and Scotland (2010, 2013, 2017). She also worked on semi ancient forests in Scotland: “Future Forest: The Blackwood, Rannoch Scotland”; “Sylva Caledonia” (2016); “Caledonian Decoy” (2017).

Reiko has also spent the last ten years developing a landscape-based practice with a horse. “Mapping the Darkness” was presented for Living organisms and their choices at The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, UK, 2019. Goto published two articles: “Becoming a Part of the Houyhnhnm’s Environment” Eds. Catarina Silva Lebre Elias, H., Cruzeiro, C, Douglas, A., Madeira, C., Basel, Switzerland: MDPI Publishing, 2022, and “Houyhnhnm: Empathic relationship with the horse and its environment” Ed. Bristow, T. Online publication: PAN: Philosophy, Activism, Nature, 2017. The work has not as yet been exhibited.

Goto is a principal in the Collins + Goto Studio in Glasgow Scotland. She is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Studio for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University (2005 – present). More recently she was appointed as a visiting research fellow at Bath Spa University. She was also appointed as an international associate of the RMIT Arts and Ecologies Research Network (AEGIS), in Melbourne Australia. She is a board member of the Hamiltonhill Claypits Local Nature Reserve (2016 – present).
The Collins + Goto studio are artists in residence at the Lietrim Sculpture Center in Ireland, and in Museum Quarter in Vienna in 2024.


An archive recording will be made for the EICSP archive.

NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.



Empathy Education

Cost: By Donation. For a Registration Form:
Contact: Neill Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(for late inquiries on the day, then email, do not phone.

If you book on the day of the event you will be emailed the Zoom sign-in details 1-2 hours before the event).

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