The Compassionate Classroom

Lessons That Nurture Wisdom & Empathy

by Jane Dalton and Lyn Fairchild

This inspiring guidebook contains 40 lessons supporting a heartfelt approach to teaching as well as a nurturing classroom environment for middle school and high school students. Lessons develop empathy, reverence, self-awareness, and mindfulness by building connections among diverse populations, cultivating creativity and rewarding reflective thinking. Other goals for student understanding include interpretation of human rights principles, development of ecological perspectives, and empathy and appreciation of world wisdom traditions. Each lesson begins with a brief anecdote from the authors’ teaching experiences, followed by a short summary of interfaith or secular philosophies, and a concise lesson plan ready for immediate implementation.

“A valuable resource for teachers exploring spirituality in the classroom. The activities are thoughtfully presented and should appeal to teachers.” —Jack Miller, author, Education and the Soul and The Holistic Curriculum

“A well-organized book rich with wisdom, creativity, and concrete lesson plans.” —Greater Good

Compassionate Classroom

This is a valuable resource for teachers exploring spirituality in the classroom. The activities are thoughtfully presented and should appeal to teachers. I particularly like the interfaith perspective that is found in many of the activities.  Jack Miller, author of Education and the Soul and The Holistic Curriculum. 

Altered Perspectives: Shaping Teachers Identities through Arts Based Professional Development

Teachers have one of the highest attrition rates of any profession. Teacher dissatisfaction has been linked to many of the challenges teachers face, such as the constant demands of accountability and standardization. The effects from these pressures over time can take its toll on teaching creatively and autonomously using one’s own gifts and talents. Research is clear about the need to avoid professional development that advocates the one-size-fits-all approach.  Although effective professional development has been proven to successfully impact teacher renewal and retention, there is little research examining the potential the expressive arts hold as a valuable professional development model inviting teachers to reflect critically on their practice while gaining new knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learning. This study was designed to investigate the changes K-12 teachers experience when participating in arts-based professional development.