Roots of Empathy
We are introducing Roots of Empathy lessons for some of our children;
Roots of Empathy mission is to build caring, peaceful and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults
. • The focus of Roots of Empathy in the long term is to build the capacity of the next generation for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting
. • In the short term, Roots of Empathy focuses on raising levels of empathy, resulting in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression.
What is involved?
Roots of Empathy uses the Baby as “Teacher”
At the heart of the program are a neighbourhood infant and parent who visit the classroom nine times over the school year. A trained Roots of Empathy Instructor coaches students to observe the baby’s development and to label the baby’s feelings and intentions. In this experiential learning, the baby is the “Teacher” and a lever that the Instructor uses to help children to identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others. Emotional Literacy/Perspective-Taking This “Emotional Literacy” taught in the program lays the foundation for more safe and caring classrooms, where children are the “Changers.” They are more competent in understanding their own feelings and the feelings of others (empathy), and are therefore less likely to physically, psychologically and emotionally hurt each other through bullying and other emotional cruelties. The cognitive aspect of empathy is perspective-taking and the affective aspect is emotion. Roots of Empathy educates both the mind and the heart.