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20 Nov

Roots-of-Empathy1-300x2222nd Class are so excited. Today they started Roots of Empathy. We had a pre-family visit. Next week Baby T will visit us for the first time. Today we sat on our green mat and practiced how to behave at the mat. We talked about the things that we think baby will do next week. We guessed how big he will be. We also voted on a name for our baby doll who will help us to learn. The doll’s name is Fia. Finally, we learned a welcome and goodbye song for when Baby T comes to visit. We can’t wait for next week and will tell you all about it then.


This is Baby Fia

This is Baby Fia

Hard at work on our mat

Hard at work on our mat


For parents:

In the Roots of Empathy program, a parent and baby (who is two to four months old at the start of the program) from the community visit a classroom nine times over the course of a school year. A trained Roots of Empathy instructor visits with the family to guide children as they observe the relationship between the baby and its parent. The instructor also visits before and after each family visit to reinforce teachings. There are 27 classroom visits in total in a Roots of Empathy program.

In the program, the baby is the “Teacher.” With each family visit, the instructor leads the children in noticing how the baby is growing and changing over the course of his or her first year of life. The children also watch the loving relationship between the parent and baby and see how the parent responds to the baby’s emotions and meets the baby’s needs. The attachment relationship between a baby and a parent is an ideal model of empathy.

Children learn to understand the perspective of the baby and label the baby’s feelings, and then are guided in extending this learning outwards so they have a better understanding of their own feelings and the feelings of others. This emotional literacy lays the foundation for more safe and caring classrooms, where children are “Changers.” They are more socially and emotionally competent and much more likely to challenge cruelty and injustice.


2 Responses to “Roots of Empathy”

  1. Joan Daly-Martin
    4:41 pm on November 20th, 2013

    Dear 2nd Class,
    Sounds like it was a great start to a great Programme. Will send from Canada a Tiny Teacher T-Shirt for “Baby Fia”!
    Have fun!
    I look forward to following your Programme this year!

    Roots of Empathy

  2. Ms. Brennan
    8:27 pm on November 20th, 2013

    Hi Joan!

    Ms Brennan here. Thanks for your lovely comment. Baby Fia would love a t-shirt, thank you! We might skype you from class some time, you could see us and hear us talk about Baby T and life in our Roots of Empathy group!

    Talk soon!

    Ms B

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