Compassion Related Activities in IE Schools

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In developing compassion in children, below are a few activities useful in Auroville schools:

Students from varied backgrounds interacting and gaining understanding of each other (for students aged between 2-6 years); [1]

Caring for Living Organisms and Nature

Rescuing reptiles, fishes, birds and insects; [2]

Preparing habitats for them; [3]

Collecting dead insects; [4]

Reading about them and then sharing knowledge; [5]

Learning and observing the life cycle of insects; [6]

Observing caterpillars becoming butterflies, [7]

Following up with related craft work (for students of the age 2-6 years); [8]

Participating in various activities that promote awareness and an understanding of biomes as well as environmental concerns and basic needs of the community including wildlife & domestic animals (for students of 9-12 years); [9]

Field trips and wilderness experiences embody compassion for others (for students of 9-12 years); [10]

Involvement in establishing and maintaining flower and vegetable garden and fish aquaria in and around the campus (for students of 7-14 years); [11]

Empathy can be chosen as a value to focus on and can be integrated in the curriculum, along with various activities (for students of the age 11-13 years); [12]

An environment of understanding and comfort; [13]

Peace manual for solving conflicts titled ‘Be True Not Violent’ written by Auroville’s Emanuele can be read; [14]

The story should be later discussed with various activities like role play, trust games, games for senses etc; [15]

The sessions can be ended with breathing exercises and relaxation to slow things down and to bring the children back into the present. [16]

To develop compassion amongst students it is important that the teachers build an environment of understanding and openness. Listening, respecting, expressing and understanding thoughts, feelings of both teachers and students should be given importance. Compassion cannot be taught but is experienced and lived.

References

SAIIER Center for Educational Research. (2012). Auroville Pre-Creche. In SAIIER Annual Report 2011 - 2012 (p. 4). Retrieved from http://wiki.auroville.org.in/w/images/2/2d/SAIIER_Annual_Report_2011-12_Vol._1.pdf Deepam School (2015).In SAIIER Annual Report 2014-2015. Retrieved from http://wiki.auroville.org.in/wiki/SAIIER_Annual_Report_2014-2015:_Deepanam_School Nandanam Kindergarten. (2015). ‘Practical-Life’ corner. In SAIIER Annual Report 2014-2015. Retrieved from http://wiki.auroville.org.in/wiki/SAIIER_Annual_Report_2014-2015:_Nandanam_Kindergarten SAIIER Annual Report 2009-2010. (p.24) Retrieved from http://wiki.auroville.org.in/w/images/b/ba/SAIIER_Annual_Report_2009-10_Vol._1.pdf

SAIIER Center for Educational Research. (2012). Auroville Pre-Creche. In SAIIER Annual Report 2011 - 2012 (p. 34). Retrieved from http://wiki.auroville.org.in/w/images/2/2d/SAIIER_Annual_Report_2011-12_Vol._1.pdf