Tagged “Start Empathy Initiative”

Start Empathy

Empathy and Racism

Post written by Madeleine Rogin for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

Leading education theorists, such as Howard Gardner and Tony Wagner, have written about the importance of cultivating our students' abilities to communicate across "networks"—skills that are crucial to success in our new global reality. And indeed, there's already been a popular acceptance that teaching around the topics of race, racism, and communicating across differences is an essential part of education in the 21st century. But in many classroom conversations, racism is framed as something of the past rather than a present reality. In addition, white children often think of slavery or the Jim Crow laws as something horrific that happened to "them," but do not see these events as something that is bad for "us" as a whole. To avoid this mistake, we can focus on empathy in the classroom as a way to prevent exclusionary behavior and "othering," which may move students to stand up against bias and prejudice.

Looking toward the future, the next step is to ask ourselves, as educators and parents, how do we go about these conversations in a way that promotes values such as inclusivity and empathy?

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Start Empathy

Empathy from the Beginning

Post written by Laura White for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization. Also published in Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Terrie Rose - Ashoka FellowHow early should you be thinking about developing empathy in your child? According to Dr. Terrie Rose, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of Baby's Space, the work of developing a child's emotional readiness for school and life happens before they are even born. In the following interview, Dr. Rose shares some of her insights and advice from her new book, Emotional Readiness: How Early Experience and Mental Health Predict School Success, on how to help children be empathetic and healthy individuals.

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Start Empathy

Empathy: The Most Important Back-to-School Supply

Post written by Homa Tavangar, author of Growing Up Global and a contributor to Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization. Originally published for Edutopia's back-to-school blog series.

My most important back-to-school supply doesn't fit in a backpack, and it can't be ordered online. It's as essential as a pencil, but unlike a pencil, no technology can replace it. In a sense, like a fresh box of crayons, it can come in many colors. Better than the latest gadget, it's possible to equip every student with it, and even better, when we do, it can transform our world.

It's actually a "muscle" I've been working on all summer. It's empathy.

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Start Empathy

Empathy? An Ethos Born in the Staffroom

Post written by Vinciane Rycroft for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization. Originally published in the Times Educational Supplement Pro.

Girl Reading Ian, aged 8, throws his younger brother Robin on the ground. Tears and screaming. It's the fifth or sixth time already today. (I'm strong; I'm superman!) Both of them have just lost their mother after two years of a very painful illness. As educators, we witness this very human story again and again, every day. It shows clearly the process of bullying. How do we respond?

Daniel Favre is a teacher, teacher trainer, and professor in both neuroscience and education. His work studies the process of youth violence. It also shows how supporting teachers in cultivating empathy can break the cycle of youth violence and improve maths results. His 50-hour programme trains educators to minimise students' fear of learning and dogmatic perceptions. Regardless of their subject, teachers learn six different skills: to clearly distinguish error and fault when giving feedback to students, encourage emotional literacy, facilitate team work, emphasize our common humanity, establish a nonviolent mode of authority, and strong personal listening skills and empathy.

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Start Empathy

Image vs. Reality: A Lesson for the 7th Grader in All of Us

Post written by Emily Cherkin for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

When I tell people I work with 7th graders, I often hear, "Oh, wow. ... I'm so sorry!" They tell me how miserable their seventh grade year was. Sometimes I hear, "It takes a certain person to work with that age group..." before their voice trails off, uncertainly.

I am usually bemused, at turns slightly offended, but mostly, I understand. Because I remember how hard 7th grade was for me, which is exactly why I so love working with this age group now.

As a part-time teacher and a full-time mom, I have been working with 7th graders for the past few years on a curriculum focusing on media literacy and anti-bullying.

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Start Empathy

Facilitating Leadership

Post written by Laura White for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

Amy Potsou and Elizabeth Stickley have a unique approach to educating students. As 3rd grade and 1st grade teachers at North Glendale Elementary School in Kirkwood, Missouri, they strive to help children "walk in the shoes of others, even if they are of a different background," and "assist others because it's the right thing to do,” not because there's a reward. According to Potsou and Stickley, these are the characteristics of a leader—yet these skills are difficult to teach.

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Start Empathy

Math, Science, Literacy, and Empathy Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Neon Tommy - Creative Commons

Post written by Sharon Lazich for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

In February President Obama laid out an ambitious agenda to invest in our young people, calling for early childhood education for every child in America. In his own words:

"Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on—by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own."

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