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Cultivating Compassionate Classrooms

Compassion is the basis of morality.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Members of our Exchange Community have asked us lately about resources to help young children grow into adults with compassion for others. Here are two:

In an article that forms the basis for an Out of the Box Training Kit “Cultivating Compassionate Classrooms,” Wendy Hinrichs Sanders writes about the importance of noticing and supporting compassion-filled

“A child I was observing was sitting by another child whose head was hanging. ‘My child’ put her arm around the child and said, ‘Qué pasa?’ (‘What is wrong?’) Allison Pike

Freddie offered his own special toy to another child who was showing distress. Julia Urias

Cali was putting a puzzle together. A friend sitting next to her was having trouble with her own puzzle. Cali said, ‘This goes here,’ and went back to her own puzzle. Connie Vargas

These are typical day-to-day expressions of compassion among preschoolers. Do we make the most of these opportunities to facilitate compassion?...

Parents and teachers worry over how to teach compassion in a culture of...competition for personal success...”

And in her article included in Exchange Essentials collection, “Top Ten Exchange Articles,” Diane Levin defines peaceable classrooms as:

“places where children learn what it means to live in supportive, safe, and caring ways with their peers...children trust that they will be respected and kept safe and that they have the power to help others feel safe as well...

Peaceable classrooms can provide a powerful antidote to the harmful lessons about violence children are learning in today’s violence-filled world.”

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