Cultivating empathy and empowering children to become effective changemakers in their communities isn’t an add-on, or a brand-new concept: it starts with simply articulating, and then amplifying, how great teachers build empathy in students.
Ashoka has set out to do just that, beginning with five pioneering elementary schools in the US. Through actions big and small – from posting observed student “Acts of Kindness” in the hallway, to creating a partnership with Ashoka Fellow Mary Gordon’s Roots of Empathy – the Empathy Initiative’s first cohort of Changemaker Schools is leading the way forward in empathy education. Together, we are working to make those practices a new norm, by identifying and sharing stories, tools, and how-to’s that can help educators everywhere put empathy into practice.
By Laura White