Developing Historical Empathy among Political Science Students through Reflections on Human Rights and Martial Law
Martial Law of the Philippine president and Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos is one of the controversial and important events in Philippine History. Implications on human rights continuously reverberates up to the present day. This paper examines the different reflective pedagogical strategies utilized in teaching the Marcos’ Martial Law and how it affects students’ cognitive and affective dimensions of historical empathy. A series of reflective interventions were implemented among third year political science students over the course of several weeks. Student responses in various forms yielded by the interventions were evaluated using rubrics measuring the aforementioned two dimensions of historical empathy. The results showed that reflective interventions allowed students to manifest greater levels of historical empathy in the two studied dimensions. In particular, the culminating activity, which built on previous reflective interventions, demonstrated the students’ ability to use the principles of historical empathy in addressing contemporary human rights issues. The researchers conclude that interventions designed according to reflective models facilitate the development of historical empathy in the students, albeit only with the cognitive and affective dimensions in mind. This paper recommends educators to integrate meaningful and consistent reflective activities into their history-related lessons to further develop student’s historical empathy.