Roots of Empathy in Germany
Please contact Monika van der Beek for information on programs in Germany:
Launched in 2012-2013, Roots of Empathy has already reached more than 1,700 children in Germany.
"We recognize a decreasing capacity for the development of empathy, and we thank Mary Gordon for creating this innovative program to raise social/emotional competencies, including empathy. We are delighted to be one of the first three schools in Germany to introduce Roots of Empathy to our pupils, and look forward to its positive effects."
- Thomas Bendlin, Director,
“We are born with the capacity for empathy. The ability to recognize emotions transcends race, culture, nationality, class, gender, and age.”
Established in 1996, Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social and emotional competence and increasing empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand how another person feels.
The Roots of Empathy program reaches elementary schoolchildren on worldwide, including students in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, England, and now Germany. Research results from national and international evaluations of Roots of Empathy indicate significant reductions in aggression and increases in prosocial behaviours.
How does the Roots of Empathy program work?
At the heart of the program are a neighbourhood infant and parent who visit the classroom regularly over the course of the school year. A trained Roots of Empathy Instructor coaches students to observe the baby's development and to label the baby's feelings. Using a specialized curriculum, the Instructor also visits before and after each family visit to reinforce teachings. In this experiential learning, the baby is the ‘Teacher’ and a lever that the Instructor uses to teach the children emotional literacy, the ability to identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others.
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