|Empathy is described as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley tells us empathy is the building block of morality and that it is a key ingredient to successful relationships. Yet we continue to hear about the decline of empathy among students. In fact, one University of Michigan study found that today’s college students are an astounding 40 percent less empathetic than they were 10 years ago. And a recent study from Harvard University found that 80 percent of surveyed youth agreed with the statement “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my class than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”All is certainly not lost—it just may be an opportunity to shift priorities so that empathy is valued similarly to achievement. This e-newsletter discusses the importance of teaching empathy in the classroom and offers tips educators can use to teach this essential skill.|
Empathy in the classroom
Having empathy isn’t just about being “warm and fuzzy.” The science behind it deems it an essential skill. It decreases bullying and aggression among young kids, reduces prejudice and racism, fights inequality, enhances effective communication and promotes helping others in need. Here are some simple ways you can help students of all ages build on their empathy.
Remember, empathy is an essential skill that can be taught and enriched in all students. Teaching compassion for others helps build a caring community and thoughtful future leaders.
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