Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of English: Writing

First Advisor

Bob Broad


This writing focuses on the social engagement of middle level students in the context of shared experience through the discussion of life writing. The study examines how empathy can be fostered and developed in the classroom based on two studies: one with an educator’s former middle school students thinking back on the life writing performed in class and their comfortability level; the second involving those same high school students reflecting on their middle level education with their shared experiences involving life writing. The research results are compared to demonstrate how participants engage in their relationships with themselves and with academic peers and how this enriches the classroom experience overall. The research suggests that allowing students to choose to share life experiences through weekly writing can create an opportunity for middle level students to practice and develop empathy for others. This practice can be as beneficial for teachers as it is for their students and can make for smoother classroom management.


Imported from Reynolds_ilstu_0092N_11944.pdf


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