Activating Empathy: A Roadmap for Changemaker Classrooms

Aug
2014
12

posted by on Civility, Parenting, Parenting Blogs

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StartEmpathy2Kindness matters! 

It’s time to implement compassion and kindness into our homes and classrooms and make it a priority.

Guest post from Joey Katona

Over the last few years, we have learned from the Ashoka Changemaker Schools Network and a research project with the Harvard Graduate School of Education that there is a need for greater understanding among educators for how to help children develop empathy and then put that empathy into action to solve problems. In response, we have created an open online course for educators and others interested in cultivating empathy in children.  

We designed it alongside educators across the Changemaker Schools Network to be short and customizable for the course participant’s particular needs and context (~1-2 hours). We did this by building a pre-course diagnostic that helps teachers determine their strengths and weaknesses in promoting empathy in students and then recommends particular units in the course based on those results.  Please take 10 seconds to register for the course launch announcement via the splash page at www.startempathy.org and encourage your friends/colleagues to do so as well!

No matter what country or field in which they work, the world’s leading social entrepreneurs (Ashoka Fellows), have one commonality: a key experience in their youth years helped them develop an unshakable sense of agency and empathy. Many of these experiences were crafted by the adults in their lives: teachers and parents who played pivotal roles in shaping who these changemakers are today.

StartEmpathyIn a world changing at an increasingly rapid pace, society needs more than just changemakers. We also need people who can teach others to become changemakers. In this spirit, Ashoka, in partnership with Google’s Course Builder, is launching a free open online course this month, Activating Empathy: A Roadmap to Changemaker Classrooms. Designed for teachers as well as anyone interested in instilling empathy in children, this course will enable participants to identify their strengths and weaknesses in cultivating empathy in young people as well as specific resources that can help them improve their work with children.

Activating Empathy will become available on StartEmpathy.org on Monday, August 25th at 9:00 AM Eastern Time. The course takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete and comes with a certificate of completion.  Please take 10 seconds today to register!

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