Register Free: Co-Designing an Empathic School Culture
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High school students are taking ownership of the mental health of the teenagers in their building. About 2,000 ninth grade students hear presentations each year on positive mental health and suicide prevention, thanks to the efforts of dozens of upperclassmen peer counselors.

The suicide prevention trainings began among the peer counselors at Fort Collins High School a few years ago, after a student died by suicide, then spread to the other high schools as the students trained each other on what to say.

And they had a similar reaction this year, after hearing about two middle schoolers who took their own lives in the fall. The group started developing a training for middle school students around self-confidence that they'll pilot for the first time at eighth grade transition night on April 18.
Various studies show that the more empathy a child displays, the less likely they are to engage in bullying, online and in real life. Empathic children and adolescents are more likely to engage in positive social behaviors, like sharing or helping others.

They’re also less likely to be antisocial and exhibit uncontrolled aggressive behaviors. That’s a big reason why educators have been devoting more attention to empathy in recent years, integrating it more deeply into schools and curricula. And as Golestan illustrates, some of these efforts are focusing on early childhood education.

Indeed, research suggests the sooner we learn to empathize, the better off we are in the long run. People exposed to empathy earlier in life have greater and longer-lasting emotional benefits than those exposed to it later, or not at all. One recent study suggests that children who are taught social and emotional skills (as opposed to purely cognitive skills) in preschool and kindergarten have better social skills and fewer behavior problems in both kindergarten and first grade, compared with kids who don’t experience that holistic classroom setting.

By Shuka Kalantari
The Association For
Empathy Trainers who have similar and common interests, activities and concerns about teaching empathy.Mutual promotion of the welfare of all it’s members.Protect and advance mutual interests.Set and maintain standards.Promote social, advertising and political action to get communities, organizations, businesses and government to support empathy training programs.etc
Benefits for Members
Access to training curriculum from other members.Share training materials and resources.A directory of empathy trainers that prospective clients can access. For Clients - If you're looking for a trainer you have a place to go Offer business support and leads to members. Discussion forums listservs.etc JOIN THESE DISCUSSION GROUPS

( ) First Step, Join the Google Group Email Discussions List

( ) Facebook Group

( ) Empathy Trainers Association Website

( ) Facebook Event
New research at Stanford University encouraged middle school teachers to take on an “empathetic mindset” when students were being disciplined. The study found that the number of pupils who were suspended across the academic year halved, from 9.6% to 4.8%....

A crucial part of teaching young people is to create positive relationships with students, said Okonofua and Walton, particularly students who are struggling. But some school environments have “zero-tolerance” policies concerning student behavior. In turn, this exposes some teachers to a “default punitive mindset.”

“It is heartbreaking,” Walton said. “Teachers are caught between two models, a punitive model that says you have to punish kids to get them to behave and an older model that goes to the heart of the profession, which says that teaching is all about building strong relationships with children, especially when they struggle.”

by Grace Smith
Empathy may be one of the most important social skills we learn as humans.

Without it, not only do we fail to understand how our actions affect others, but we also lack the imagination and creativity needed to design tools and communicate our ideas beyond our own communities of like-minded people. Indeed, without some degree of empathy, we may not be able to communicate at all.
And yet, empathy also happens to be one of the most difficult skills to teach, rife as it is with complexity and emotion.

The importance and challenges of teaching empathy have come into renewed focus, thanks in part to bestselling author Dr. Michele Borba's latest book, "UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World."

Other recent events - ranging from the mass shooting in Orlando, to the firestorm caused by a letter from a rape victim read out loud to her attacker, to the growing global refugee crisis - all test our ability to imagine what it must be like to live in another person's shoes for a day.

by Emily Long
Our students are often prompted in ways that guide them to empathize with both hypothetical and real “users.” HS Mathematics Teachers Duane Wacha and Amy Harbaugh’s geometry course took a look at ASIJ, as it is designed now.

Their goal was to redesign the entire campus in a way they feel more empathetically represents the student users’ needs. They created 3D models in SketchUp and used paper schematics to draft a new view of the school grounds. In the process Duane and Amy’s geometry students came to appreciate the complexity in considering the needs of all who share our campus. They also came to appreciate the value in creating for others.

Empathy was a topic of interest at the start of school In-House Teacher Conference held on August 18 and 19. Eighteen other teachers joined Duane in a collaborative session that explored empathy in the classroom—discussing strategies and skills teachers can use to support students in shifting their point of view and understanding the diverse perspectives of others.
Analytical thinking is great. It’s the way you learned to be step-by-step—to collect data, analyze it and come up with a conclusion, like you did in science class. It is really useful, and I hope people keep doing it. It's very important.
Design thinking is more experimental and less step-by-step.It's fuzzier. It's intuitive. It's empathic.

We often say that it’s integrative thinking, where you put together ideas from different sources—it’s synthesis. This is a way of thinking that is not quite so linear, but you can build confidence in it if you do it over and over again....

- But the basic premise of design thinking revolves around empathy, being understanding of what other people want, and how the world is put together from a social and emotional point of view...

- They can make something that is not project-based a little bit project-based by bringing in our focus on empathy for other people for instance, or making it real in some way. If you have no choice but to do the curriculum that is outlined, you have to figure out a way to get some of these concepts—empathy, prototyping, synthesis—included...

By Claus von Zastrow
Role of empathy in education:-

In 2012, researchers at McGill University in Montreal found a direct connection between empathy and learning capacity. It is part of social and emotional learning (SEL) as it helps the students to manage emotions, establish relationships and solve life problems.

It is an underlying foundation for student-teacher interaction that enables to know and connect with each other. This help the students to get rid of stress that affects their learning, brain development, memory power, reasoning ability and self control.

Positive relationships can be developed with the help of empathy skills. It enables the students to listen to others, understand & learn verbal and non verbal cues and appreciate the differences in others. Empathy stands as a main factor in developing leadership skills in students as a leader is expected to understand the thoughts and feelings of other people, expose their care towards them and value them as this will build trust by the followers on the leaders.

by Merlin Vimal
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