“Em·pa·thy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Recently, the Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning was nominated for an Ashoka Award by our parents.
We are humbled that our parents would nominate us for such a prestigious award.
Ashoka has a variety of international programs. Ashoka’s education strategy focuses on empathy. Ashoka’s educational program’s vision is; “To enable the world where every child masters empathy and where every young person identifies as a changemaker.”
This vision statement resonated with the staff at SAIL. All of our inquiry, project-based, interdisciplinary learning has at its core that students need to apply their learning by creating (Makerspace) something that will help others in the world. To help others, one must empathise with those you are trying to help.
We do not have an “empathy program” that we offer as an extra unit or program of learning, rather we have embedded, social and emotional learning and empathy into every unit that we do. To achieve that, our staff needs to model empathy. I believe, if one were to ask our students and parents if staff demonstrate empathy and if that empathy has impacted them the students and parents would answer in the affirmative.
I believe education has a critical role to play in helping inform and develop empathy with our students locally and worldwide. It is our belief at SAIL that our instructional strategies and our school’s unique systems and structures are perfectly aligned to allow our students to develop the empathy they need to be effective change makers within the world economy.