The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Slow Movement to enhance the Development of Empathy in Education

Julia Huisman, NHL Stenden University (The Netherlands)



We live in a world that changes rapidly, and both body and soul remind us of the uncontrolled and dizzy times; the price we pay to comply to the demands of nowadays rapid time management  is very high. This paper explores the challenges to develop empathy in this accelerated culture that we have created in general and specifically in Education. The philosophy of the Slow Movement, could be defined in one word “Equilibrium”. Individuals discover energy and efficiency just by doing things in a slow and mindful manner. The use of Social Media has a negative impact on our ability to empathise with others due to the constant exposure to a rapidly changing content, which demands a large amount of our time; time that foster feelings of detachment from the real world and causes constant erosion of empathy. The Slow Movement advocates for reclaiming our attention and highlights the importance of diminishing digital stimuli in education; practising  mindfulness  and setting boundaries to create space for reflection and meaningful connections are key to develop consistently empathy in individuals.

The main dogma of the Slow Movement to take time to  carry out our daily activities, and consequently enjoy them; The “ Slow Movement” impacts on various aspects of our lives; mental health, environment, communities, personal relationships, educational structure, and above all  frees ourselves from the sensation of constant lack of time. Decelerate our lives will demand to change the rules by which we live. It  will require some persuasion to change legislations and international consensus; which will be a challenge, however, it is essential for change. The author argues  that adapting our lives to a less accelerated time management in aspects such as education, workplace, urban design, medicine and exposure to social media would foster emotional intelligence and empathy in particular.

Keywords: Slow Movement, Empathy, Emotional Intelligence, Curriculum Development, Student Engagement, Cultural empathy

Author: Julia Huisman

Affiliation: NHLStenden

Country: The Netherlands

email: [email protected]


 Huisman, J. (2024) Cultural Empathy in International Contexts: Successes and Pitfalls. The Future of Education Conference Proceedings, Florence 2024.

2  Bluedorn, Allen C. The Human Organization of Time: Temporal Realities Experience. Standford: Stanford  Business Books, 2022


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