Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Learning Empathy by Looking Beyond Disabilities

Excellent article in the NY Times for high school teachers:

The unusual lessons are part of a new effort, called the Pearls Project, to promote tolerance and empathy in a school culture where being different can mean social exile. Ridgewood teachers developed it this year in partnership with Positive Exposure, a nonprofit group in New York City founded by Rick Guidotti, a fashion photographer.

Mr. Guidotti, who has photographed supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer, began snapping pictures of children with genetic disorders in 1997. A year later, Life magazine published his photo essay on albinism, titled “Redefining Beauty.” His work with these subjects has also been displayed in galleries, medical schools and children’s hospitals, as well as at Harvard University and at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

For the Pearls Project, Mr. Guidotti photographed 11 young people, each with a different disability. He also arranged for them to blog about their experiences and answer questions from the Ridgewood students. The subjects are identified only by their first names — Byron, Ashley, Rebecca, et al. — and come from various states.

Continue reading Learning Empathy by Looking Beyond Disabilities

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