How Young Children Promote Kindness at the Sudbury Valley School

An excerpt from the article:
Fight Bullying with Babies
Empathy can’t be taught, but can be caught–from babies.

by Peter Gray

“As regular readers of this blog know, my former student Jay Feldman and I have conducted research on age-mixed interactions at the Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Massachusetts. At this school, students from age four on through high-school age are free to explore and play as they wish, with whom they wish, all day long. In our research, we documented many ways by which children and adolescents at the school regularly practice their nurturing skills through their self-chosen interactions with younger children. They read to them, comfort them, correct them when they violate rules, teach them games, help them do things that they cannot do alone, help them find lost objects, and take pride in their accomplishments. They are, I think, on their own initiatives practicing to be parents; and, more generally, they are practicing the kinds of abilities that will make them caring and valuable helpers and leaders to everyone around them.”

See also:
Freedom from Bullying: How a School Can Be a Moral Community
Every school should be, first and foremost, a moral community.

by Peter Gray
If It Feels Right … — An opinion piece in the NY Times by David Brooks about research showing that there is a failure of schools, families, etc. to install moral values in our kids (especially check out the “recommended” posts in the comments section…)


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