Seventh International School On Mind, Brain And Education

2012 July 30 - August 4

Teaching: A New Frontier
of the Neurocognitive
Sciences, Education
and Culture

Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani

Abstract: Giuseppe Longo
University of Verona. ITALY

Empathy and literature: a neurocognitive approach to the educational goals of literary didactics
In the educational activities, key competences for lifelong learning are, among the others, communication in the mother tongue, social and civic competences, and cultural awareness and expression (Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training - ‘ET 2020’). They can be closely connected and usefully promoted by using the teaching of literature. The paper highlights how and why these competences belong to the context of reading literary texts in the schools, especially if this kind of teaching is based on cognitive neuroscience research (Battro, Fischer, Lena, 2008) and takes into consideration the neural correlates of empathy (Baron-Cohen, 2011) involved in reader’s response to literature (Keen, 2006; Oatley, 2011).