The realization that we are an empathic species, that empathy has evolved over history, and that we are as interconnected in the biosphere as we are in the blogosphere, has profound implications for rethinking the mission of education. New teaching models designed to transform education from a competitive contest to a collaborative and empathic learning experience are emerging as schools and colleges try to reach a generation that has grown up on the Internet and is used to interacting in open social networks where information is shared rather than hoarded.
Teachers have a huge responsibility for teaching empathy in their education classrooms. Not all students learn the art of caring and being empathetic at home. Sometimes schools have to step in and teach this skill. There are many lesson plans that teach empathy, but some stand above others. Empathy can be taught, but is best done through role-playing excercises, according to a 1992 article presented by Dr. Adam Blatner at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.
"As bullying among school-aged children continues to be a growing concern for communities and parents across the nation, it is now more critical than ever – and never too soon – to start building empathy in young, preschool-aged children," said Sandy Wax, president of Sprout.
"Empathy and kindness are a consistent theme with Sprout's gold-standard programming and trusted characters, so Sprout is uniquely positioned to deliver our 'Kindness Counts' message to families of preschoolers all across the country."
Students learn that physical & developmental challenges can be overcome
“It’s a mind-set thing,” she explained, adding, the hope is to help the children develop “empathy for even the students in this building. “We have a lot of children with autism and Asperger’s [an autism spectrum disorder] and we have all of the rooms just to provide them with the perspective that everyone is different and it’s OK to be different,” she said.
Yerba Buena students were taught the importance of empathy for those with disabilities at the school’s second annual Ability Awareness Workshop on Thursday. The workshop, geared for first and second graders, was modeled after a similar program at Lindero Canyon Middle School, according to Julie Van Note, a special education teacher.
Rarely do parents get the chance to show-and-tell like they did when they were kids. But for mother of four, Karen Huyter, that’s exactly what she was able to do through a program called Roots of Empathy -- sharing her fourth son Jackson, with a classroom of curious students.
An evidence-based program, Roots of Empathy brings parents and their infants into the classroom in an effort to reduce aggression and bullying.
London elementary school is being recognized as the first official compassionate school in the world by a London-based organization that aims to ignite the spirit of compassion in communities across Canada.
Jannet Ann Nordemann, who founded Canadians for Compassion, was at University Heights public school Monday to present staff and students with a plaque to honour their commitment to compassion.
The Rainbow District School Board celebrated the participants in its Roots of Empathy program May 12. “When students develop empathy, they gain an appreciation of the uniqueness of each individual, their opinions, beliefs and contributions. They gain respect and other important values,” he said.
During the school visits, a number of themes are explored including meet the baby, crying, caring and planning for baby, emotions, sleep, safety, communicating, who am I?, and good bye and good wishes. With each classroom visit, students learned empathetic responses to the baby’s temperament, facial cues and feelings.
Zoe Weil is President of the Institute for Humane Education which works to create a world in which we all live humanely, sustainably, and peaceably.
'To build a culture of empathy we need to be sure the systems and situation around us are humane and sustainable and just. Because we will go with the flow. If that flow is going to be cruel and destructive, that will suppress our empathy.'
School reform that is based on test scores and basic skills has stripped from curriculum efforts to develop empathy in young people and that has enormous consequences for the country.
Indeed, empathy has been swept out of the education debate. This was demonstrated in a recent study that was more frightening than the results of the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, but that has been all but ignored by reformers such as Rhee: college students today are dramatically less empathetic than previous generations...
Where’s the empathy emergency? It turns out that that today’s reformers don’t see an empathy emergency because empathy is not valued in our culture, a reality that Harvard-based physician-researcher J. Wes Ulm describes in his 2010 essay for Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, entitled “Cache of the Cutthroat.” Ulm argues that Social Darwinism – a perversion of Charles Darwin’s theories – has seized control of our economy and culture.
Prospect Sierra and U.C. Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center are teaming to host a TEDx conference on compassion in education (http://tedxgoldengateed.org) on Saturday, June 11 at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, Calif. Tickets are available now via the website.
Video on PBS News Hour: At Banana Kelly HS in New York, ninth graders embarked on a multi-part refugee curriculum. The lessons went far beyond just the classroom. or many high school students, the struggles of others are often distant problems.
Producer John Tulenko went to Banana Kelly — situated in the poorest Congressional district in America — to film a piece on a remarkable curriculum developed by the Morningside Center. These ninth grade students went through several phases of activities related to refugees, discovering important life lessons in the process.
Lila Jokanovic shared this documentary with me, "Children Full of Life" about a Japanese classroom with a teacher who nurtures the empathy between his students. It's fascinating how much more developed children can be in such an environment.
Two programs to teach young children empathy and preempt homophobic and racist bullying from an early age will get $800,000 annually for five years from the province, Premier Christy Clark announced in Burnaby on June 13. ..
The Roots of Empathy and Seeds of Empathy programs are about bullying prevention rather than intervention, says founder Mary Gordon. "Homophobic bullying is one kind of very prevalent bullying that is out there," Clark notes. "What we need to do is make sure that every school in the province is armed with the information on how to deal with bullying better."
What makes Asa Berg such an effective third-grade teacher is that he is not quite 11 months old.
It's an ideal age for the subject he's been teaching for more than half his life. The course is called Roots of Empathy. Asa is teaching the students about emotions, and his are right on the surface, easy to observe.
A thorough exploration of the role empathy plays in learning throughout all levels of education and its crucial relationship to motivation, values development and achievement.
Empathy in Education discusses the role of empathy in learning throughout all levels of education and its crucial relationship to motivation, values development and achievement, impacting from the micro to the macro levels of society. Using initial research involving interviews with teachers and student teachers in many different contexts, from nursery to sixth form lessons along side neuroscience, psychology and educational research, the author considers the intrinsic nature of affect and empathic human relationships in learning.
Empathy truly is the skill of taking the perspective of others and thinking about it before acting. Children who have this skill are usually very aware of their own emotions and are aware that others experience the same emotions they do. A child who is empathetic knows the appropriate response to an emotion, whether that emotion is seen by adults as positive (e.g. excited) or negative (e.g. angry). Empathetic responses are actions responding to caring feelings of another individual.
For me, one of those people was my fifth-grade teacher, Ms. Mabel Hefty. When I walked into Ms. Hefty’s classroom for the first time, I was a new kid who had been living overseas for a few years, had a funny name nobody could pronounce. But she didn’t let me withdraw into myself. She helped me believe that I had something special to say. She made me feel special.
She reinforced the sense of empathy and thoughtfulness that my mother and my grandparents had tried hard to instill in me -- and that’s a lesson that I still carry with me as President.
Ms. Hefty is no longer with us, but I often think about her and how much of a difference she made in my life. And everybody has got a story like that, about that teacher who made the extra effort to shape our lives in important ways.
And certainly, Rhee has little empathy for “bad teachers,” and in fact, has built her career – and her fame – by sweeping them out the front door. As the legendary educator Mike Rose reported in a recent blog on Rhee, she casually invited a film crew documenting her to watch her fire a teacher live, in a real life version of Donald Trump’s Apprentice.
This is a striking departure from the original mission of public schools, which conceived of our schools as not just skills centers, but civil institutions which cultivate democratic values – empathy, compassion, citizenship, creativity, and other “softer things.”
Ask little Peter Cournoyer, a second-grader at Rocketship Mateo Sheedy, what empathy means, and he describes it this way:
“It’s when you help someone if they need help or if they get hurt,” he says, (which he’s had to do a few times).
Empathy is one of Rocketship’s four “core values,” in addition to respect, responsibility, and persistence, which define the school’s culture and identity. The words are plastered all over the school’s walls as a reminder and reinforcement.