Teaching empathy

Empathy is inherent in all of us, but for children who experienced a violent or poverty-stricken upbringing, their ability to feel compassion and empathise with others can be seriously stunted. Louise Kinnaird explores the role of schools and practitioners in giving such children the opportunity to care.

In a world of selfish genes and survival of the fittest, where nice guys finish last and to care is seen as weak, what place is there for empathy in society? Well, quite a lot as it happens.  Empathy plays a more important part in our lives than we might think; it is a fundamental part of our development and without it, society would decline and fall.

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