Making Caring Common
Raising kids who care about others and the common good.
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Research + Initiatives

Making Caring Common leads a number of research projects and initiatives. From working directly with schools and teachers to spearheading national campaigns, we strive to make caring more common in all of our programming.

 

Making Caring Common leads a number of research projects and initiatives. From working directly with schools and teachers to spearheading national campaigns, we strive to make caring more common in all of our programming.

 

 

Empathy in Schools Research Initiative

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Help us test empathy-based approaches in your school.

We know that educators want to help students become more empathic and caring but often lack strategies they can implement with ease, flexibility, and regularity.

As part of our Empathy in Schools Initiative, teachers, counselors, and other interested school staff test empathy-based approaches grounded in our work with more than 170 schools over the last four years. If you are an educator in elementary, middle, or high school, we encourage you to join today!

Note: We are at capacity for 2018-19 but please fill out the interest form below to stay up-to-date on our school-based initiatives.

 
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Program contact
Milena Batanova
milena_batanova@gse.harvard.edu


 
These strategies will change how your kids treat one another and how they treat administration and staff around the school and other adults of authority. Truly an experience that everyone should attempt to implement into their lives.
— High School Teacher
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the EMPATHY IN SCHOOLS INITIATIVE for?

Elementary, middle, or high school teachers, counselors, and other interested school staff working in the United States are eligible to participate.

 

How does the EMPATHY IN SCHOOLS INITIATIVE work?

For middle and high schools, we provide both educators and their students with surveys to assess how they view their classroom and school environments, as well as students' empathy and other related skills, including openness to different perspectives, listening, and helping others in need. Schools can also sign up to use our research-based strategies — one in the fall and one in the spring. Each strategy contains five lessons and each lesson can be done once per week in 15-20 minutes (or shorter or longer, depending on time availability). Middle and high school educators receive a small stipend for their participation.

For elementary schools, we have adapted some of our strategies for grades K-2 and 3-5, and we simply ask that teachers provide us with feedback after each strategy. The strategies are 20-30 minutes for the elementary school level, and can also be shortened or extended depending on teachers' available time.


WHAT Are Educators Saying?

“I'm definitely going to keep using this model and this language with students. It's a simple and powerful way to think about how we engage with the world and who we notice.”

“Implementing these strategies…impacts students on a deeper level. It takes their focus off of themselves and puts it on those around them. They learn that they are not alone in any struggles they may be facing.”

“These strategies will change how your kids treat one another and how they treat administration and staff around the school and other adults of authority. Truly an experience that everyone should attempt to implement into their lives.”

“I think it's a wonderful opportunity to get to know your students because it really creates a space where students feel compelled to speak up and engage in the lessons. I also feel that my students were challenged in a supportive way.”

“I would absolutely recommend them. I think these could all be a great way to add empathy/SEL easily to a class.”

“It is just a nice way to remember to incorporate these things into regular practice and trying to find creative ways to do it! Thank you!”


WHAT Are STUDENTS Saying?

“These activities taught me to be more considerate and to put others before me.”

“It helped me think more about others’ points of view.”

“They help you learn more about your peers and find things in common with them.”

“It was fun and interesting. You also get to know the people in your class better.”

“It was such a wonderful and priceless experience. Our club felt more like family as the year went by.”

“Those activities brought me out of my comfort zone.”

“I learned a lot and that it has helped me become a better person.” 


What is the general timeline?

 

Fall 2018 
Middle and high school staff and students complete pre-surveys
Middle and high school staff receive gift card upon survey completion
Middle and high school staff implement first strategy

Winter and Early Spring 2019
Middle and high school staff and students complete post-surveys
Middle and high school staff receive gift card upon survey completion
Middle and high school staff implement second strategy

Spring 2019
Middle and high school staff and students complete final post-surveys
Middle and high school staff receive gift card upon survey completion
Middle and high school staff receive Certificate of Completion highlighting collaboration with Making Caring Common

Summer 2019
Select middle and high school staff are invited to participate in optional focus groups or interviews
If applicable, middle or high school receives data report (if significant proportion of classes/students participated)

How do I SIGN UP?

Fill out the interest form.

 

What if I still have questions?

Email Milena Batanova at milena_batanova@gse.harvard.edu