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Developing Empathy in the Early Years


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. Empathy in the 21st Century. 2. Affective and Cognitive Empathy. 3. Empathy and Theory of Mind - Jackie Harland. 4. Establishing Empathy in our Pedagogy. 5. Exploring the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Empathy. 6. How Conflict and Conflict Resolution Produce Empathetic Children. 7. The Power of Positive Communication. 8. The Significance of Pretend Play in Developing Empathy. 9. Fostering Empathy through the Process of Narrative - Helen Lumgair. 10. How Social Cognition Creates Engaged Children - Valerie Lovegreen. 11. Empathy and Autism. Afterword.

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Guide to help early years professionals develop young children's empathetic sense and foster empathetic settings

About the Author

Helen Garnett is a teacher with thirty years' experience. After running her own preschool for ten years, she became an educational consultant to Riverston Group Ltd and Think Equal. Helen is based near Brighton, England.


How wonderful - finally a passionate, scholarly yet practical book focusing solely on the pivotal importance of adults understanding and developing empathy in very young children. Helen Garnett has contributed an exciting seminal book which deserves very serious attention from the world of Early Years practitioners and parents. It is that rare creature - a book that balances excellent research into empathy with excellent practical ways of putting all the ideas into practice. It is a 'must-have' for all people wanting the best future for children. -- Jenny Mosley, previously a lecturer on a Master's in Education, author and Early Years Consultant
This is the perfect book for early years practitioners who want to better understand the importance of empathy. -- Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, Development Psychologist, Research Scientist, Founder of connected baby
This is a powerful, passionate and practical appeal to humanize education for the sake of all of our children. -- Sir Ken Robinson, Educator, New York Times Best Selling Author

This book is very timely indeed. As the world around us grows ever more divisive and as convenience and immediacy take a tighter hold on our lives, as we give ever more of ourselves away on social media, we are in danger of creating a shallow, loveless, empty world that places no value on feelings and where childhood faces corrosive and combative forces that we will struggle to deter...
There is a great deal of wisdom here, and ways to help you turn the tide to start planting the seeds of empathy deep into 'the pedagogy of your preschool'. Kind and considerate children are developed where kindness and consideration are practised; tolerant and cooperative children thrive in an environment where tolerance and cooperation are evident.

-- Early Years Educator (EYE)
Research-based and full of practical applications, this is a book that really brings the child to the forefront of how practitioners care for children... It is well written and easy to follow, with plenty of background material. The book is well supported by extensive references which will help those who want to look into the subject in more depth. -- Parents in Touch

This book by Helen Garnett is genuinely very interesting. It's packed full of history, quotes, facts and strategies and I have learnt so much from it.
...I particularly loved the superb strategies suggested in this book. They include ways to help preschool age children develop their theory of mind - which is fascinating.

-- Special Educational Needs Resources Blog

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