Sunday, May 16, 2010

Teaching empathy

I want to call your attention to an article from TIME Magazine entitled "How to Deprogram Bullies: Teaching Kindness 101". Here's an excerpt:

At a public school in Toronto, 25 third- and fourth-graders circle a green blanket and focus intently on a 10-month-old baby with serious brown eyes. Baby Stephana, as they call her, crawls toward the center of the blanket, then turns to glance at her mother. "When she looks back to her mom, we know she's checking in to see if everything's cool," explains one boy, who is learning how to understand and respond to the emotions of the baby — and to those of his classmates — in a program called Roots of Empathy (ROE).

After the recent bullying-related suicide of a 15-year-old in Massachusetts, parents and educators around North America are wondering: Could her death have been prevented? What can schools do to stop the taunting that takes place on and off campus? And most important, can positive qualities like empathy and kindness be taught?

For responses to those questions and more, please click through and take a look at the entire article. Worth it. Really.

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