Creating Empathy in Students

By | April 20, 2013

In society in general today, children are not as empathetic as they used to be to the needs of others. While some schools see their role in the classroom purely as one of educating students about the material, other school see themselves as educating the entire person. This means that they want to raise the children’s level of behavior, how they care for others, and how they interact as citizens at large.

To this end, many schools today have created charity programs to educate children about those who are less fortunate and to offer concrete ways to help. These programs include character education, charity work, group discussions and more.

A few ways to inspire students to think of others include:

1. Having inspirational speakers come to the school. These could be speakers who had difficult childhoods but have pulled through and succeeded in life.

2. Create a food drive or other event at the school to help those less fortunate. These could be a toy drive, food drive, clothing drive, etc.

3. Activity day: Take the students to a soup kitchen to hand out food or to a place that packages food for the needy. There, they often have cafeteria tables where they lay out all of the food and the students package it into small containers for families. Sometimes these activities are done in churches and the church furniture would be used as the staging ground.

Many of these ideas are active and engaging. They allow the students to show empathy while physically doing something to help.