Education | Educación
The Joy of Learning Continues Nurturing Empathy in Pre-School Beatriz Brito Atelierista, The Joy of Learning Paula Luzzi Panno & Andrea Muñoz Pre K-3 Michelle Rios-Estrellas & Helen Guiulfo Pre K 4 Daniela Foerch, FIU
April/Abril 27, 2014
“A stone thrown into a pond sets in motion concentric waves that spread out on the surface of the water, and their reverberation has an effect on the water lilies and reeds, the paper boat and the buoys of the fishermen at various distances. ... In a short time countless events or micro-events occur one after another… it is not much different with a word, thrown by chance into the mind, producing waves on the surface and in the depths. It provokes an infinite series of chain reactions …”
odari’s metaphor suggests that the concept of a word dropped into the mind is much like a stone dropped into a pond. “EMPATHY”: a word that potentially predicates change, a word that has produced an incredible effect on our school learning community. Once again, The Pre K teachers from The Joy of Learning along with Daniela Foerch, Ph.D., Instructor of Early Childhood Education from Florida International University, became ambassadors for children as they participated in the Global Summit on Childhood 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada April 10-13th. A summit which beckoned: “To support every child and its family to fulfill her / his full potential and for them to become creative, confident, competent adults with the skill, resilience and emotional capacity to cope with life’s opportunities and vicissitudes”; “ To Listen to the voices of children…to see the vision of those who work towards a sustainable future… and to elevate the visibility of childhood by exploring collaborative efforts…” What does childhood look like around the world? What practices and policies can we implement that will protect our children and help them develop to their full potential? For four days we listened and met people from all over the world. An unforgettable experience wherein we dialogued with passionate educators and researchers committed to making a difference in the educational system, each in their perspective countries eager to learn from each other. The proposal for our presentation was “Using Visible Thinking and Global Thinking Routines to Nurture Empathy in Young Children”. Global habits of mind can help preschoolers listen with empathy and think flexibly as they attempt to see the world through the perspectives of others. Special emphasis was given to how preschoolers become aware of their own emotion and the emotions of
others and learn how to manage them. We inspired and became inspired. The reaction of our participants was quite motivating. There seemed to be a unanimous sense of encouragement and validation in the work shared. Empathy can be nourished in our young children as demonstrated by Michelle Estarellas Rio, Helen Guiulfo and the Pre K – 4’s, with the 3 Y’s thinking routine. Paula Luzzi Panno and Andrea Muñoz presented their Pre K -3’s documentation on their on going project entitled MUSIC CONNECTS ME WITH MY FEELINGS AND MY BODY. Both classrooms highlighted stimulating indications on the ability that children have to step inside another’s feelings and capable of identifying not only happy, good, angry, sad, but also, joy, excitement, frustration, anxious, silly, nervous, and more. We left with a feeling of empowerment to continue our commitment to nourish empathy within our young community as we affirm responsibility for our children, childhood and their future as global citizens. It is our goal to set in motion those
Beatriz Brito, Paula Luzzi Panno, Daniela Foerch, Andrea Muñoz (Missing are Michelle Rios-Estarellas, Helen Guiulfo)
concentric waves as we lay the intricate layers of architectural foundations in Empathy… a process in the making! It is only through dedication and persistence that we can make a difference.
In the spirit of listening to the voices of children and elevating the visibility of childhood, Paula and Andrea invited the children from their classroom to become active participants in the conference as they interpreted their vision and support from a distance in their in painting an umbrella that they were likely to need.