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On Empathy Development in Young Children

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During the formative years, habits, outlooks, and attitudes develop which influence social interaction throughout life. Because empathy is crucial in social interaction, empathy development should be supported. Evidence of empathy is first observed around the age of two (Radke-Yarrow et

During the formative years, habits, outlooks, and attitudes develop which influence social interaction throughout life. Because empathy is crucial in social interaction, empathy development should be supported. Evidence of empathy is first observed around the age of two (Radke-Yarrow et al., 1983, 1984; Spinrad & Fabes, 2009). The purpose of this thesis is to examine empathy in children from multiple perspectives. The scientific literature reviews the discovery of the mirror neuron system (MNS). A study on nine- and ten-year-old children showed a correlation between MNS activity and empathic concern (Pfeifer et al. 2008). Another study with a mean age of 11 demonstrated that high emotional intelligence (EI) resulted in more nominations for "cooperation" and less for "aggression" (Petrides, Sangareau, Furnham & Frederickson, 2006). The three most common EI tests (MSCEIT, TEIQue, Bar-On) are modeled to measure empathy (Bar-On, 2006; Goleman 1998, 1995; Mayer & Caruso 1997; Petrides & Furnham 2001). Psychologists agree that low measures are linked to narcissistic and aggressive behavior. The Observational Study analyzed both evidence of empathy and a lack of empathy in interactions with three- and four-year-old children. Personal experiences were also shared on how empathy was understood and practiced. Lastly, the children's short story was written to support empathy development through fiction-reading.

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2018-12

The Butanding: A Narrative Illustration Book and Exhibition

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My work focuses on the themes of grief, closure, and celebration of life. Life is a catalyst both celebration and grief. Feeling joy when a life is introduced is as common as feeling pain when a life is lost. When

My work focuses on the themes of grief, closure, and celebration of life. Life is a catalyst both celebration and grief. Feeling joy when a life is introduced is as common as feeling pain when a life is lost. When I lost my maternal grandmother nearly a year ago, I felt grief accompanied with guilt. I never got a chance to say goodbye since we lived so far apart, her residing in the Philippines and me residing in the United States. In order to get rid of these negative emotions, I sought closure. I attended her funeral, and now I want to celebrate her life through my artwork.
My work comes in two parts: an illustration book titled The Butanding and an illustration exhibition. The book will be published through lulu.com and made available to the public. The exhibition component will be held from March 2nd to March 6th in Gallery 100 as part of my senior exhibition Post Pre-Production with six other colleagues in the School of Art. The illustration book is a narration of a little girl and her growing friendship with a whale shark. The overarching theme of the creative project is closure with the passing away of loved ones.
The Butanding is a narrative illustration book about a young girl befriending the local menace of her village, the whale shark. Similar to my own experience, the main subject—the young girl—of my narrative is shown suffering from grief and guilt over her grandmother’s death. My work illustrates a progression of the young girl’s emotional state as she goes on a journey with the whale shark or locally known in the Philippines as the “butanding”. It provides the scenario of a grieving individual who gets the chance to reconnect with a deceased loved one and rebuild relationships that were lost.

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2015-05

The Role of Children's Literature in Correcting Ocean Plastic Pollution

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In the last 100 years, humans have grown increasingly dependent on synthetic plastic products. Companies have taken advantage of the low cost and convenience that plastics provide. However, the rise in plastic consumption has had unforeseen consequences. Due to plastic’s

In the last 100 years, humans have grown increasingly dependent on synthetic plastic products. Companies have taken advantage of the low cost and convenience that plastics provide. However, the rise in plastic consumption has had unforeseen consequences. Due to plastic’s resistance to biodegradation the hazardous material has accumulated in the environment. While few plastics are recycled and placed in landfills, the majority of this waste will accumulate in the oceans where it threatens the health of marine wildlife. Ocean organisms often become entangled or consume plastic waste; in the majority of these cases death is inevitable. The consumption of plastics causes contamination throughout all marine trophic levels. Plastic toxins bio-accumulate in tissues. The toxins concentrate as they move up the trophic levels and harm life processes of marine organisms. A vital step in combating plastic pollution is educating the public. Children, in particular, need to understand the negative implications of plastic pollution because they will experience the consequences. The goal of this project is to spread awareness of plastic pollution to young children in an entertaining and emotional way. There are several approaches to publishing a successful children’s book; the story should be captivating, reliable, with a compelling story that the reader may relate too. For this project, three well-structured children’s books were examined for inspiration. A children’s book was then constructed to inform children of ocean plastic pollution.

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2019-05