Research is proving that teaching kindness is not only possible but desirable for better schools
Teacher Kim Smith shows 4 year old kindergartners in Madison Wisconsin how to calm themselves with “belly buddies”. The 16 children arrange themselves in a circle on their backs, and place their belly buddy – a small rock – on their stomach.
“Watch it go up and down as you take your belly breaths and calm your body,” said Smith
The exercise is part of the “kindness curriculum”. Educators at UW-Madison believe that by helping children focus on their bodies, they will be able to respond when they are frustrated with more compassion and less anger.
Research conducted by UW-Madison found that the curriculum made a positive difference by. The researchers found that kids who participated in the curriculum were less selfish and showed better mental flexibility and social skills than children who did not participate. Kids who completed the kindness curriculum also earned higher grades at the end of the school year.