Gajera International Utran
Teaching Empathy in Schools
Human civilization has moved forward through centuries and the education system is becoming more materialistic. As announced in the new education policy 2020, it is the pertinent enough to foster empathy among children during the foundation years for the overall development of the child. Empathy is derivative of basic skills like sharing emotions, understanding the concerns of others, and offering desired help. The child must be taught to reason out others prospective by putting up himself in the shoes of others. The child can catch the skills from his/her parents which will eventually become a habit.
School must include the following in the curriculum and practice to impart empathy:-
Teaching empathy to students teaches them to Converse about the cause and effect of emotions so that they feel the pain of others. For example, if a child hurts his right hand and the teacher sympathizes with him /her in the class, it automatically instills the feeling of empathy and other students will come forward to help him/her.
The skill of observing certain incidents inference of the impacts with the help of small skits or videos. Role play in such cases is very effective for imbibing empathy.
Empathy is clubbed by sympathy and school must involve students in the activities of care, charity and social services to imbibe the same in their character. Generally, schools can involve their wards in food distribution drive to under privileged people and allow them to help others.
Parents must be involved to encourage their wards for extending emotional support and help to underprivileged people during vacations and festivals. Developing empathy for siblings at home is also the beginning as the most of the kids don't like their siblings due to the sense of competition during the early years due to the psychology of the child.
The child must be encouraged and appreciated whenever he / she displays empathy in public or private.
Showing them few clips and telling them to reflect and reason out will help to develop thinking skills and model behavioral patterns under a similar situation.
Teach universal values and the importance of inclusion by taking the help of peer coaching and group discussion, making them understand about the discrimination between colour, caste and creed.