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In Denmark, Empathy Is A Compulsory Course For Children At School

We all want to live in a respectful country with tolerant people who help each other selflessly. Unfortunately, the reality is often quite...

We all want to live in a respectful country with tolerant people who help each other selflessly. Unfortunately, the reality is often quite different, with a few exceptions. Denmark, in particular, arouses admiration thanks to its education policy that allows it to have one of the happiest populations in the world. This vision of life would begin at school, where Danish schoolchildren would be required to attend classes to learn empathy. A salutary initiative, relayed by the American magazine The Atlantic.

Can be defined as the ability of an individual to put himself in the place of others and to feel their feelings, empathy is a very important skill in society and even in the couple. In principle, it is in each family that this essential notion of community life should be taught, but Denmark has decided otherwise.

Denmark, Empathy Is A Compulsory Course

The prevail of the "me" at the expense of empathy: 
According to the results of a comparative study conducted by the University of Michigan, it appears that 40% of today's young students have less empathy than those of the 1980s and 1990s. Presented on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Association For Psychological Science, this study noted an increase in the indifference of young people marked by a strong dose of egocentrism with the arrival of social networks and video games.

On the other hand, according to the World happiness report of 2016 and those of 2012 and 2013, (report of the happiest populations of the world), Denmark is one of the few countries to maintain their status of leader in the ranking and this, in recent years already. It is also the only country to have introduced compulsory special courses focused on learning empathy, among other skills, for students aged 6 to 16 and officially since 1993.

The "Klassens Tid", courses to teach empathy:

Called "Klassens Tid", they represent the pillar of happiness and team spirit of the Danes who are passed on from generation to generation. An hour a week is needed to instill the basics of empathy, a very noble value, for Danish schoolchildren. At these sessions, there is no place for judgments or mockery, each schoolboy has the opportunity to expose his academic difficulties, but also personal.

It is therefore after a discussion between the teacher and the other students of the group, with respect, that a solution is found. The idea here is to show schoolchildren that an individual in difficulty always needs support to repair his wrongs and not to be judged. This helps to avoid intimidation and also to design a more tolerant future generation.

In addition to this, a cake prepared by all schoolchildren is shared during "Klassens Tid". This is done in a way that creates a family environment conducive to easier learning for the teacher and students.

Empathy can be taught at all levels:
Although Denmark is one of the best places to live with an egalitarian society, a remarkable well-being and an excellent education system, the "Klassens Tid" remains a must. It seems that the Danes have understood the important and indispensable place of these classes in the success of a country. Thus, it is not only an innate capacity, but a value that deserves to be learned and therefore taught. This is why empathy is placed in the same way as mathematics or sport in Denmark.

In addition, according to a study published by The Journal of General Internal Medicine, it is possible for medical students to learn empathy towards their patient. This is of course interesting in that this action increases the level of satisfaction of patients and pushes them to respect medical advice related to their treatment. Also, this study revealed that empathy was not only the business of young schoolchildren, but could be taught to doctors and therefore at all levels to have a fulfilling, respectful society and able to adopt the principles of Danish success.