The Education Sector

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Welcome to the Charter for Compassion International page for Partners in the Education sector.  Here’s what you will find on this page:

  • What role does Education play in supporting the global movement for compassion?
  • How does an Education Organization or Institution become a Partner of the Charter for Compassion International?
  • What groups or organizations are already Partners in the Education sector?

What role does Education play in supporting the global movement for compassion?

Cultivating Compassion in the Classroom

Cultivating compassion in educational settings, and creating the kind of culture where it is a norm of student and staff behavior, may seem at first a noble ideal: a nice-to-have, something to be undertaken only when all other priorities are met. Yet we now have the evidence to show that a school’s ability to foster real learning, indeed to fulfill its fundamental purpose, depends on its ability to do just that.

More and more schools and educational organizations/groups are acting on this evidence and creating compassion-filled learning environments. Students and adults alike thrive when their social and emotional needs are met, when they feel a sense of belonging, when they feel their voices are welcomed and heard. Choosing to uphold the principles of compassion is central to a school’s ability to create a caring and inclusive culture and climate, to nurture a strong moral identity among those who walk through its doors, and to invite deep participation and learning.

What’s more, compassionate action is foundational to effective collaboration, and to advancing the common good—attributes that, in today’s increasingly connected world—are central to success. A compassionate school begins with the adults on campus walking their talk and modeling compassion to all.

How does an Education Organization or Institution become a Partner of the Charter for Compassion International?

There are at a number of ways you can get involved with the work of the Charter:

  • Read, sign and act on the Charter for Compassionate Schools. There is great need for a Charter for Compassionate Schools that translates the principle of compassion to the uniqueness of the school world and acts as a rallying cry and unifying vision for schools and educational organizations across the globe.
  • Join our network. If you are a principal, teacher, youth group, educational organization, early childhood professional, consultant, writer, musician or artist, or other specialist who works in education, join with our other partners in forming an accessible network of compassionate education specialists. Each partner has a page on our website that links back to your own site.
  • Contact the Charter for Compassion to become a volunteer. Visit our website to learn more about the Charter and our community initiatives, and partner sectors.
  • Contribute to the Education Blog. Share what you are doing in your teaching and learning.
  • Get our mobile Compassion App. Enter and access a world of compassion and record your thoughts and actions for caring for the others, yourself, and the Earth.
  • Engage in the Compassion Relays and Games. The Relays are year-round and are a great way to engage everyone in compassion and increase momentum for the Games in September.

What groups or organizations are already Partners in the Education sector?

Explore Our Resources

Connect with other Charter Education Partners, check out our Education newsletters and reports on conference calls, and read articles in our Education Compassion Reader.  There is even four special offerings in this section:

Dangerous Memories

In 1991, Dangerous Memories, the book from which this section originates, was published. Its intent then, as now, was to challenge readers to examine their knowledge and assumptions about the history of a certain time and place; to become critical of their knowledge base and to begin to confront the ways we are all affected and influenced by our understandings. Dangerous Memories continues to be updated on a regular basis.

Education Packets

 Several times each year we publish educational packets based on specific themes. Themes provide background information, maps, historical data, poetry, arts and other writings, including annotated bibliographies and filmographies, as well as teaching and learning suggestions.  Most themes also offer links to films, lectures and other media offerings.  Current packets include materials on Abraham Lincoln, Democracy and the Arts, Films to Help Us Rethink War, Inagural Addresses and Presidential Poetry, International Women's Day and Peacemakers.  The latter packet is sponsored by PeaceTags™,  New additions to Rethink War, Iraq and Afghanistan are now available.

The Voices in Wartime Series - Six Volumes

The six volume set of Voices in Wartime originated to accompany the full-length documentary, Voices in Wartime.  Individual volumes include: Poetry in Wartime, U.S. Civil War, World I, World War II, Korean War and the Vietnam War.  As with film, the Voices in Wartime volumes bring to life how poetry and war have been intertwined since the beginning of recorded history --from ancient Babylonia and the fields of troy -to the great conflicts of the 20th century and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The stirring words of poets of the past - Homer, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman and Shoda Shinoe from Hiroshima are combined with more recent voices: a Vietnam vets, poets in war-torn Baghdad, and international poets who have experienced and survived war. Most volumes contain educational standards, timelines, extensive quotes, poetry, art, annotated bibliographies and filmographies.

The documentary, Voices in Wartime, its companion book, Voices in Wartime Anthology, and the follow-up film to Voices in Wartime, Beyond Wartime are all available through this website and individual vignettes of the films and anthology are incorporated within the curriculum.

Words and Violence

This is the fourth year that a new edition of Words and Violence under the stewardship of Barbara Kaufmann has been compiled. The emphasis in this edition is on Mother Earth, and how resilient she has been in the wake of our endless "bullying." We've all heard stories of climate change, deforestation, global warming, pollution, and the misuse of our natural resources. This new edition helps concretize the planet's reality, and offers hope for a new beginning, providing ways to take our concern and move us to action.

Please let us know about other resources that should appear in this section.