The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Nurturing Empathy in Preschoolers through Children’s Literature and Emotional Games

Daniela Foerch, Florida International University (United States)

Flavia Iuspa, Florida International University (United States)


Promoting empathy in young children can be challenging, hence it is an important task that educators and parents should embark on. Empathy stems from the Emotional Intelligence (EI) theory, which was initially introduced by Salovey and Mayer (1990). Their model highlighted four distinct domains of EI, which include 1) the ability to perceive and identify emotions in oneself and other individuals, 2) the ability to use emotions to promote thinking, 3) comprehending emotions, and 4) the ability to regulate emotions in oneself and others. Empathy is the ability to identify and understand emotions in other individuals and having the desire to help them feel better without asking anything in return. It is an essential component of social-emotional development. The purpose of this paper is to provide educators and caregivers with fun and easy-to-implement strategies to enhance strategies in young children and their environments. One of the main tools that will be presented and modeled is the use of emotion-based children’s literature and emotional and perspective-taking games to encourage children to step inside the characters’ shoes to promote empathy and global competence. These implementations might lead to possible changes in the traditional discipline system commonly implemented in today’s classroom with a more innovative and constructive method that might potentially decrease negative behaviors in children with behavioral challenges.   


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