Chapter 10: Instill Empathy, Justice, and Character

Chapter Overview

In this chapter, I explore how social justice and character education play a role in learning and how using social media can empower your students to be address social inequality and be a more positive influence in the lives of others.

In the Chapter

Why some people are more altruistic than others, is a TED Talk by psychology researcher Abigail Marsh which speaks of her own personal story and which talks about how altruism can be achieved by all of us. Transcript here.

Kerri Langer had her students tackle the issues of kindness, fairness, and empathy in Kindergarten!   Kindness video using Powtoon.

Q-chart (can use this to generate questions: ensure students create questions from all quadrants)

Perspective taking   modifiable doc here and Thinking Hats here.

Kid President Youtube Channel (via Soul Pancake), Kids are Heroes, The Harry Potter Alliance, and Teach SDGs provide an excellent starting point and ideas for this topic

Beyond the Chapter

Take the #Kindness180 challenge. Check out this great post and idea by Staci Erikson.

How about making kindness go viral? Check out this Kindness passion project created by Tamara Letter.

A video which really emphasizes the simplicity of spreading kindness is, Color Your World with Kindness, which shows how small actions can have a powerful impact

Facilitating Activist Education by the Learning Exchange (shared by Stepan Pruchnicky)

This post by Kristen HundWhy Character Education Matters has lots of ideas and resources about building character.

Open World Cause This organization founded by Ben Honeycutt and Connor Janzen began as a senior project in high school and is now changing the lives of many.

How virtual reality can create the ultimate empathy machine. TED Talk by Chris Milk.

3 Strategies for using empathy as an antidote to Cyberbullying by ISTE’s Nicole Kreuger.

Literature can have a profound effect on the way we see the world.  Here is a list of books that can be used to encourage students to to be more empathetic and kind and 10 Non-fiction books that bring Promise to our World by Cathy Mere Julie Balen writes a list of Nonfiction 10for10 here.

The post, Classrooms are not neutral  by Royan Lee features an interview with authors Robyn Ecclestone and Sarah Hill talking about social justice in the classroom. Their Social Justice Resource, which has a teacher and student guide, is awesome and can be downloaded directly from that blogpost.

Evaluating Perspectives and Biases. Adolescent Literacy Guide Alert.

This is an inspiring keynote by Craig Keilburger describing the origins of Free the Children (now WE) from when he was just 12 years old.

Restorative Justice: Resources for Schools by Matt Davis

Let’s Talk About It