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Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child Paperback – September 1, 2009

17 customer reviews

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Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child + Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential--and Endangered + The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mary Gordon has created a brilliant strategy for teaching young children the essential skills to see the mind within each person… Empathy in all its forms is encouraged and cultivated in this science-based, emotion-inspiring, life-changing immersion in the inner world of human development.”
—from the foreword by Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of The Developing Mind and Parenting from the Inside Out

“Empathy, an innate human quality that arises in a child from nurturing attachment relationships, is increasingly rare in our stressed, alienated, and disconnected culture. Mary Gordon's Roots of Empathy program, outlined in this indispensable book, provides young students with an environment in which they can interact with someone even more vulnerable than they, under the care and attention of loving adults. Empathy grows naturally.”
Gabor Maté, MD, author of Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers

“[An] impressive book... It’s a bold and wonderful idea, part of a movement to put empathetic understanding of other people alongside the academic concerns of education and close to the center of our society.”
The Globe and Mail

“This brilliant program belongs in every classroom in every school in every country of the world, forever. There’s no better way to teach empathy—the essential human trait.”
Raffi Cavoukian, singer, author, and founder of Child Honoring

“Mary Gordon has opened the door to finally treating the whole child in a practical, no-nonsense, yet sensitive and compassionate way.”
Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto

“In this engaging book, Gordon describes how her program has helped reduce incidences of aggression and bullying… This ‘emotional literacy’ allows Roots of Empathy to educate, as Gordon puts it, ‘both the mind and the heart.’”
Ode

“I’ve long recommended the Roots of Empathy program in my own work with parents, children, and educators, which, like Mary Gordon’s program, is focused on teaching children how to do the right thing. Roots of Empathy is an essential book for every one of us invested in cultivating greater empathy in children—whether at home or in the classroom.”
Michele Borba, EdD, author of Building Moral Intelligence and Parents Do Make a Difference

“Emboldened by what infants and young children have taught us about how early in life the seeds of compassion are planted and what it takes to grow the roots of empathy deeply, Mary Gordon strives to bring about no less than world peace and protection for our planet’s future, starting with schools and classrooms everywhere, one child, one parent, one teacher at a time.”
T. Berry Brazelton, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School and Founder, Brazelton Touchpoints Center and Joshua Sparrow, MD, Director of Special Initiatives, Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, authors of the Touchpoints books

About the Author

Mary Gordon is an internationally recognized educator, author, child advocate, and parenting expert who has created award-winning programs focused on the power of empathy. In 1996, she founded Roots of Empathy, which now offers programs in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and elsewhere. Gordon speaks and consults to governments, educational organizations, and public institutions. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and an Ashoka Fellow. Her Web site is http://www.rootsofempathy.org.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: The Experiment (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615190074
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615190072
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bonny Corbeil on January 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If everyone learned at a young age the importance of true compassion, understanding and empathy for other human beings- our world would be very different.
Teaching children information is very different than creating an experience to find out how others feel.
This critically helps us realize our common humanity...how our behavior affects others...what our emotions are...and how what we first-think, say and do -deeply impacts others.It leads to self-responsibilty-excatly what we all need more of.
This is critically important!
This Book and Program shows us how to incorportae this in our schools...through their interactions with babies.
What else happens that is quite amazing is that it gets children to open up about their own feelings...either form their time as babies or in how they may be felling in the "here and now"-
something that is very important.
Thanks for writing this book. I am hoping many others discover it.
Sincerely, Bonny Corbeil.
Virgin Islands.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barbara D. Gilbert on August 6, 2010
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As a social worker who has been running parenting groups for mothers referred by Child Protective Services for a few years now, I loved this book and the brilliant work and program Dr. Mary Gordon describes in it. I would so love to see this program in all our schools here in the States as I firmly believe it would help our children develop better social and emotional skills on multiple levels. In fact, the kind of sensitive, gentle observing and interacting that this program describes and encourages in the classroom would benefit all of us as it really focuses empathic attention and attunement right where it's needed most, with our infants and young children.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sam on May 6, 2012
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Mary Gordon grew up in a family of super-feelers, with parents deeply concerned about social justice. She couldn't buy black Mary Janes because little girls in India did not have shoes at all. And her family dinner table often included newly released convicts, invited for their first hot meal as free men. Gordon has now taken her extraordinarily high Emotional Intelligence and created a program to spread empathy across the globe, starting with elementary-age children.

The Roots of Empathy program brings newborns into the classroom once a month and uses the experience to build lessons about relationships, parenting, and empathy. The program has been successful in reducing bullying, abusive parenting, and prejudice.

Parents should read Roots of Empathy to learn real-world strategies for encouraging empathy in their own children. Gordon writes, "The instructor uses well-known children's literature to illustrate emotions such as loneliness and sadness and to underscore themes such as inclusion and bullying." Parents can use storytime to talk about feelings with their children, opening up the opportunity for those conversations later in life.

Gordon's overarching premise is that babies are uniquely positioned to teach emotional literacy. Students learn by "observing the baby's experiences and the emotions they inspire; naming the emotions; anchoring the emotion in themselves privately through discussion; reflection, art, and journaling; and discussing their feelings with others." Parents too can take lessons from this progression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shch on January 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved the book, I think it is a "must read" for all parents and educators. It is full of hope, insight, and genuine care and love for children and humanity.
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By Claire Brothers on March 4, 2013
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This is one program and a wealth of knowledge that could easily change the world, and is. I hope to excite others of this work.
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Gordon has an accessibility to her work that is engaging and inspiring. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and how quick the read is compared to some other books in this genre. If you want to learn about how to engage with children to promote empathy (good people), this is a must read.
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By Marianna on December 27, 2012
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If you are interested in stopping bullying this book is extremely helpful and insightful in understanding why it happens and how it can be stopped. The premise is that babies are born without bias and we teach them how to be what they become - whether it be "good" or "bad".
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By L. Rita Sloaon on February 10, 2013
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Powerful book demonstrating the impact infants can have on children, particularly those who have previously lacked proper parenting. If we implemented this project in every elementary school in America, we'd be a different country in just a matter of a few years!
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