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David A. Levine

Teaching Empathy

Forbes 4-10-13 "The Ancient Way Is Now Cutting Edge"

Fostering Empathy in Our Schools

Register for the online webinar here.

To schedule David A. Levine for an event, click here. See also Books and Music by David A. Levine. Post on David's Facebook page.


A School of Belonging


Everything I do in schools focuses on the creation of a school culture that facilitates caring and meaningful relationships, emotional safety, and relevant learning. A School of Belonging is based on the premise that every single interaction between adult and child in school, helps to build safety and connection to the school community. It is within our influence to monitor and manage those micro-interactions, particularly in stressful and emotionally trying times.

In A School of Belonging all people have a place and are honored for who they are and what they can offer. Compassion is the key to bringing this norm to a school community. One definition of compassion is …“the ability to be exceptionally empathic, to appreciate and honor another person’s feelings and point of view, and to be forgiving of yourself and of others.” (Cooper.) Compassion is fueled by non-judgment with the intention of helping all people feel as if they have a role to play in the school and classroom.

A key aspect of this research-based program will focus on how to effectively teach social skills through group dialogue, moral dilemma discussion, class meetings, fishbowl, common language, story telling and processing. Teachers and other staff members will explore David’s resources Teaching Empathy, A School of Belonging Plan Book, and Building Classroom Communities and will be trained in how to implement these resources.

The structure and specific social issues covered will be customized to meet the current needs of each school. A needs assessment will be conducted by Mr. Levine prior to his initial staff and student workshops through focus groups, one to one conversations, and by reviewing current initiatives and policies. An on-going assessment of program effectiveness will continue throughout the School of Belonging process.

To learn more about David A. Levine, click here.



Art McFarland ABC Eyewitness News, New York City


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