Progress starts with the children...

I want to receive new articles by email
Empathy taught in Danish schools
By Jerry Brownstein
All students in Denmark from ages 6 to 16 have a one hour class each week called the “Klassens tid”. It is a lesson in empathy where the students discuss their problems and the whole class tries to find a solution based on conscious listening and understanding. If there are no problems to discuss then the students spend the time together relaxing and enjoying “hygge”. This Danish word is difficult to translate, but it could be defined as creating a shared, welcoming and intimate atmosphere by bringing light, warmth and friendship.

The schools also teach empathy by encouraging teamwork. The focus is not on excelling over others, but on having responsibility for helping those who are not equally gifted. There is also an emphasis on collaborative learning. Children with strengths and weaknesses 
in different subjects are put in the same classes to help each other. This teaches them from an early
age that one cannot succeed alone, and that helping others leads to better results. Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world according to the UN’s World Happiness Report. The fact that they have been teaching empathy in the schools since 1993 is certainly a factor in this success. If we are going to make the world a better place then perhaps programs like this should be heeded and copied.


A Whale Tail Tale

Young and old live together in harmony

The generous “baby cuddler”

Finland’s progressive policies

Pope Francis appoints women to high positions

First mother-daughter pilot duo