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Developing Empathy to Promote Equity in Early Childhood Settings

by Lea Ann Christenson, Leah S. Muccio, and Kevin McGowan
September/October 2021
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/developing-empathy-to-promote-equity-in-early-childhood-settings/5026125/

It was late October and Ms. Maja, who was in her second year of teaching pre-K at a private, nonprofit preschool, was not sure what to do. After many weeks of patiently and methodically teaching routines and procedures to her class of 16, most days ran like clockwork. The children moved from circle time to centers to snack time to outdoor play time with a minimum of direction, and much joy and excitement, as they engaged with the learning experiences Ms. Maja carefully crafted around their interests and levels of development. 

However, Samantha, who had just turned 4, constantly sought attention, mostly of the negative variety. During circle time, she darted under the table nearest where the children were sitting and screeched at the top of her lungs until the instructional assistant teacher, Ms. Williams, gently coaxed her to the back of the room so the lesson could continue in peace. At center time, Samantha loudly said mean things to her peers, to the point where they would cry. At snack time she would throw her food on the floor and exclaim at the top of her voice, “YUCK!” On her cot at rest time, she rustled around, unable to relax ...

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