Name of Conference
Name of Presenter
Date
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Johnny has 3 apples.
If Amélie takes 2 apples,
How will Johnny feel?
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
What is Roots of Empathy?
Roots of Empathy is an
evidence-based classroom
program that has shown
significant effects in reducing
levels of aggression among
school children by raising
social/emotional competence
and increasing empathy.
Breaking the intergenerational cycle of violence and poor parenting.
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Our Mission
Our mission is to build caring, peaceful, and civil
societies through the development of empathy
in children and adults.
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Our History
Mary Gordon is the Founder, President and the
inspiration behind Roots of Empathy.
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Our Reach
• Working in partnerships, the
Roots of Empathy program
reaches elementary children
from Kindergarten to Grade 8.
In Canada, the program is
delivered in English and French
and reaches rural, urban, and
remote communities including
Aboriginal communities.
• Roots of Empathy is also
delivered internationally in
New Zealand, Isle of Man, the
United States, the Republic of
Ireland, Northern Ireland,
Scotland, England, Wales and
Germany.
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Our Goals
• To foster the development of
empathy
• To develop emotional literacy
• To reduce levels of bullying,
aggression and violence, and
promote children’s pro-social
behaviours
• To increase knowledge of
human development, learning
and infant safety
• To prepare students for
responsible citizenship and
responsive parenting
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Our Teachers…
A trained Roots of Empathy Instructor and neighbourhood
parent and infant visit the classroom over the school year.
These interactions and the accredited curriculum build
children’s social and emotional competence.
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Shared Cultural Values
“These programs transcend
race, color, and family in
our centre. They have
brought us all so much
closer and truly reflect the
values of our Nation.”
-Wet’suwet’en First Nation
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Program Elements
• Based on the school year
• Infant and parent Visit
classroom once a month (9
Family Visits)
• Instructor makes 27 classroom
visits; including Family Visits
• Curriculum Manuals; 4 age
ranges: Kindergarten, Primary
(grades 1-3), Junior (grades 46) and Senior (grades 7-8)
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
How the Program Works
Each Theme has a:
• Pre-Family Visit
(preparation/
prediction)
• Family Visit
(observation/
experiential learning)
• Post-Family Visit
(reflection/critical
thinking/problem
solving)
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Emotional Literacy
Social and Emotional Competence
• The ability to identify and
regulate their own
emotions (recognize,
understand, cope with,
express)
• Key to successful
relationships and conflict
resolution
• Empathy is a component
of social and emotional
competence
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Emotional Literacy
• Observation of and
labelling baby’s
emotions
• Reflecting and
identifying own
emotions
• Understanding the
emotions of others
(empathy)
• Comfort in discussing
emotions
Try not to get mad at a baby because he might
learn to be mean when he grows up.
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Research Results
Compared to comparison
groups, Roots of Empathy
children demonstrated:
– Increased social and emotional
knowledge
– Increased prosocial behaviour with
peers
– Decreased aggression with peers
Lasting results:
– Follow-up study showed decrease in
aggression and increase in prosocial
behaviours maintained after three
years
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Bullying – Roots of Empathy Engages
the Bystander & Onlooker
Pepler & Craig (2001):
• Peers are present in 85% of bullying episodes on the
playground and in class
• 1 in 7 children are bullied
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Bullying – Roots of Empathy Engages
the Bystander & the Onlooker
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Who can become a
Roots of Empathy Instructor?
•Public Health Nurses/
Social Workers
•Police Officers
•Child Welfare/Youth and
Family workers
•Early Childhood Educators
•School-based instructors:
Psychologists
 Guidance counselors
 Speech pathologists
 Special education assistants
 Principals/Vice-Principals
 Unassigned classroom
teachers*
* The Roots of Empathy program may not be delivered by a
teacher in his/her own classroom.

Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Teacher’s Commitment
• Attend an introductory Roots of
Empathy principal/teacher
presentation
• Welcome and support the Roots of
Empathy Instructor and family
• Maintain regular communication
with the Roots of Empathy Instructor
• Participate actively in all lessons and
assist when needed
“[The class] is becoming more aware of
their feelings and the feelings of others.
The program is a wonderful way of
creating a caring environment in your
classroom and a great way to get the
community involved in our school.”
~ Roots of Empathy Classroom Teacher
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Principal’s Commitment
“[Roots of Empathy] teaches the kids to
be able to label how they’re feeling
and to then start to think how someone
else might feel or to help a person”
~ Roots of Empathy Principal
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
• Attend an introductory Roots
of Empathy principal/teacher
presentation
• Strong understanding and
support of the program
• Finding an enthusiastic
classroom teacher to host the
program
• Welcome and support for
Roots of Empathy family
• Occasional use of office
equipment/supplies
• Willing to be involved in media
events or coverage,
evaluation or research
Recognition
Mary Gordon and
Canadian GovernorGeneral Michaëlle Jean
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Mary Gordon and
His Holiness the
Dalai Lama
Roots of Empathy – the book
Changing the World Child by Child
“Roots of Empathy is a simple, brilliant and powerful example of how developing children’s
empathy can be a priority, and can be accomplished with amazing results. The heart is the way to
the mind, but they have to be explicitly linked. Roots of Empathy is a model of social and
academic inclusion.”
From the foreword by Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education,
University of Toronto
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Changing the World Child by Child
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
International Advisory Board
Dr. Gwynne Dyer - Author, Journalist,
Filmmaker
•Lecturer of International Affairs and
Historian
Dr. Bruce Perry - Senior Fellow, The Child
Trauma Academy, Houston
•Author, Lecturer, Researcher
Professor Sir Albert Aynsley-Green KT –
Former Children’s Commissioner of
England
•MA, D Phil, Dhc, DCL, MD, Duniv, FRCP,
FRCP (Edin) FRCPCH, FFPH, Fmed Sci
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Board of Directors
Scott Clark – Director & Treasurer
President, C.S. Clark Consulting
Mary Gordon – Director
Founder/President – Roots of Empathy
Mary Alice MacNeil – Director
Family Mediator and ADR Consultant
Mario Nigro – Director
Partner, Toronto Office, Blake, Cassels
& Graydon LLP
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
Sarah Polley – Director
Actor, Director, Social Activist
Scott Rutherford – Chair
Founding Partner, Rutherford
Development Strategies
Principal, Mobius Executive Leadership,
Lecturer, Rotman School of Business,
U of T
Lyle Viereck – Director
Director, Aboriginal Relations &
Negotiations, BC Hydro
For more information:
“name and title”
250 Ferrand Drive, Suite 800
Toronto, ON CANADA M3C 3G8
t: 416-944-3001 f: 416-944-9295
e: [email protected]
w: www.rootsofempathy.org
Charitable Number 89643 4818 RR0001
Copyright 2012 Roots of Empathy
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