Kindness is a powerful tool in the classroom. Poor performance in schools today is linked more to issues with social behaviors and maladaptive student relationships than with academic curricula and learning methods. For students to achieve and excel, there needs to be a stable, supportive and safe environment where students can focus on and embrace what is being taught. The practice of kindness creates such an environment.
The research shows that a culture of kindness at school has the following benefits:
- Increases social emotional learning which results in higher emotional well-roundedness and physical health
- Increases empathy leading to better peer relations and reduces bullying
- Boosts social competence and report card grades/achievement
Articles and References
Currie, Lisa. “Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2015, http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teaching-kindness-essential-reduce-bullying-lisa-currie.
Heffernan, Lisa, and Jennifer Wallace. “To Get into College, Harvard Report Advocates for Kindness Instead of Overachieving.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 20 Jan. 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/01/20/to-get-into-college-harvard-report-advocates-for-kindness-instead-of-overachieving/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6707f5e7dbab.
Price-Mitchell, Marilyn. “Acts of Kindness: Key to Happiness for Children & Teens.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 2 Jan. 2013, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-moment-youth/201301/acts-kindness-key-happiness-children-teens
Schiffman, Richard. “Can Kindness Be Taught?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 Dec. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/14/well/family/kindness-curriculum-preschool.html.