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Cool to Be Kind: At Schools Across America, Embracing Kindness as the Theme for the Start of the School Year

The 74 Million – Meredith Nelson

“Rousseau called kindness the greatest wisdom of all. Our schools are calling it a powerful virtue that can be harnessed to make the world a better place. To that end, they’re weaving kindness into the fabric of students’ lives in a variety of ways. The kindness craze has seen a band of bikers and a celebrity rapper become heroes for defending students against horrendous behavior.” (more)

Teaching your child how to be empathetic

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Children often are surrounded by people who are different from themselves, especially at school, and it is important that they treat others with respect and empathy, regardless of their differences. Although empathy can be a hard quality for parents to teach, a Baylor College of Medicine expert gives his advice on how they can do this.” (more)

5 best practices for teaching challenging subjects

E-School News – Melissa Mott

“One of the most effective ways to cultivate skills such as empathy, problem solving, and emotion management is to help students productively struggle through an examination of the real and complex subjects that have and continue to face the world. Conversations on topics like racism, genocide, school shootings, and other forms of violence are not easy; however, honest dialogue can lead to increased understanding and compassion for the human experience.” (more)

Exploring nature could make your kids more empathetic

The Toronto Star – Kitson Jazynka

“Earlier this year, I wrote about what kids should do if they found a baby bird on the ground. The idea for the story came from an experience I had with my sons last summer, when we discovered a robin’s nest in a holly bush. The fragile home, stitched together with twigs and lined with dried grass, clung to a prickly-leafed branch near the busy bus stop at the edge of our yard in Washington. We watched the parents deliver dangling worms to the babies, snapped pictures from a distance, fretted through heavy rainstorms and, when they finally grew feathers and disappeared, wondered whether the little birds would make it to adulthood.” (more)

How to build empathy in the classroom, one story at a time

The Guardian – Jon Biddle

“With the pressure on teachers and schools to prepare students for exams, or – as in my case – getting them ready to move from primary to secondary school, it’s easy to lose sight of the values pupils learn in our company. I was reminded of this recently, after a project about refugees prompted one to tell me: “I used to think that refugees were different from us. Now I don’t.” Another said, “This was probably some of my favourite work that we’ve ever done. We’re learning about the real world and how we’re all part of it. Like, everyone, not just us and the people we know.” That work was part of a pilot project my school, Moorlands primary academy in Norfolk, was trialling for EmpathyLab.” (more)

Now is the time to redefine readiness

E-School News – Katherine Prince

“Today’s working adults have seen a lot of change in the employment landscape. But that change is likely to be modest compared to the changes coming between now and 2040. We stand at the beginning of a new era driven by exponential advances in digital technologies. As that era unfolds, people will increasingly work alongside machine partners to navigate, make sense of, and contribute to the world around us. In addition, the structures within which we work are likely to change significantly.” (more)