Empathy is a fundamental building block for the positive development and mental health of children. It is central to the development of conscience, love, friendship and kindness. This programme supports the encouragement and teaching of empathy and resilience and schools will reap the benefits in their students' achievements.
Identifying key elements that help young people to develop empathic feelings and behaviour, it helps schools to:
o create structures that promote connectedness and belonging
o provide learning experiences that build excitement about learning and hopefulness and possibility for their futures
Activities include 'The Circle of Friendship', which builds empathy into the day-to-day operation of the classroom in a highly motivating and visual way. All 10 sessions include teacher notes, experiential activities, worksheets, games and reflective questions that will encourage young people to explore the different elements of empathic behaviour. Many more ideas for developmental work are also included.
Bob Bellhouse is a teacher, researcher, writer and publisher, Andrew Fuller is a Clinical Psychologist, and Glenda Johnston is an Educational Psychologist. All three are based in Australia.