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Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Maria Montessori, and Empathy
Categories: For Parents / General Knowledge Fund / The Montessori Difference

Learning Empathy As an Academic Subject

Recently, I read that Neil deGrass Tyson said teach empathy as a subject matter in addition to reading, writing, math.   I’ve been seeing numerous articles recently about the importance of teaching empathy to our children.  Our own Mrs. Carrillo recently expressed her opinions on how educating young children can help spread respect and peace in our communities.


In our classrooms, empathy is not something that we focus on as its own subject.  Lessons in empathy, grace, and courtesy are inherent in every activity that your children engage in throughout the day.  During group work, students learn to respect differences.  In our mixed-age classroom, students learn patience through mentoring and observation.  We expect a high level of respect for one another in our community, and our students consistently rise to these expectations.


Experiencing and Practicing Empathy: Further Resources

Here are a few blog post ideas to connect with books-a great way to experience and practice empathy:


From the New York Public Libary:  Children’s Books on Inclusivity and Why it Matters


From Leaders League: A post on Maria Montessori as a Pioneer of Empathy Education


From the New York Public Libary: Books for Children on the Refugee Experience


From “The Age of Montessori”: “5 Excellent Ways to Teach Children Empathy”