Teaching Empathy

In an article entitled “In Denmark, Empathy is Taught As a School Subject That Kids Must Learn From a Very Young Age” and featured on Thinking Minds, we read about the Danish belief that teaching empathy to children in school is just as important a life lesson as math or science.

From the article:

  • In 1993, empathy classes became mandatory; children aged 6 to 16 are taught how to cultivate kindness in themselves.
  • The children during the empathy classes are asked to share any problems or issues they are going through. The entire class pitches in to help find a solution. Kids grow up to become confident, emotionally intelligent adults, who will know not to judge people for their struggles.
  • One such program is called the CAT-kit. In this program, the aim is to improve emotional awareness and empathy by focusing on how to articulate experiences, thoughts, feelings, and senses. There are picture cards of faces, measuring sticks to gauge the intensity of emotions, and pictures of the body, included in the CAT-kit so kids can understand the emotions being exhibited while also learning to conceptualize their own and others’ feelings. In the classroom setting, along with the facilitator, the children are taught not to be judgmental but acknowledge and respect these sentiments.

What a lovely and proactive approach to cultivating emotional intelligence in children. With Denmark ranking high in the UN’s World Happiness Report, it would seem we have much to learn about how valuable it proves to be when we focus on empathy skills and understanding in our littles.

To read the full article: https://edu.thinking-minds.net/schools-in-denmark-conduct-empathy-classes-as-part-of-the-school-curriculum-from-a-very-young-age

To visit the Thinking Minds website (which has lots of interesting articles): https://edu.thinking-minds.net/

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Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@cdc

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