Compassion in HE

Purpose of the proposed group
To support the development and sharing educational practices that support a more compassionate experience of HE for students and staff.

Objectives of the proposed

  • To further our understanding and practice of compassion in the HE.
  • A number of staff have well developed, locally established practice to address affective needs of their students. We will create a forum to share across faculty and department boundaries.
  • Invite internal & external experts to report on their research
  • Bio – Theo Gilbert
    Dr Theo Gilbert, SFHEA   is the THE’s  winner of the  ‘Most Innovative Teacher of 2018’ award.  His research is in  fast-emerging multi disciplinary scholarship on the science of compassion. He is taking fascinating findings here  into practical pedagogy for group work.   With his colleagues,  he has  found that  the easily taught micro skills of compassion can be individually assessed and credit-bearing in ways that  raise  group intelligences in statistically evidenced ways, and positively impact student group social experience. Staff from 36 universities so far  are now part of an open and welcoming network of work and/or interest in this endeavour:    Three UK universities have worked on the data analysis so far, with controversial findings for student wellbeing and the BAME attainment gap that need urgent public debate.  More  results from other universities are expected soon.  Theo  is an Associate Professor, Learning and Teaching,  at the University of Hertfordshire.  

    Embedding and assessing the micro skills of compassion in student group work.

    This work shop will offer you  fascinating background insights into the what is happening in the science of compassion these days and why it has become  a ‘must-watch’ space for educators everywhere. The workshop will explain some very practical, compassionate micro skills for students (and staff) to bring to their group work/team work –   in ways they may not have thought of before. Compassion can be defined as:  noticing, not normalising, distress or disadvantaging of yourself or others –   and doing something about it.  We will have a chance to try some of these micro skills out together.  We’ll  see how quick and easy they are to teach, support and assess. You will discover why they do not detract from but only sharpen students’ investment in their target subjects,  why they are helping to enhance  student wellbeing/interculturalism –  and how findings suggest they could help dismantle  the institutionally-constructed aspects of the BAME attainment gap. 


    Group main contacts
    Cathy Malone
    Petra Klompenhouwer
    Sally Hinchliff