Roots of Empathy research symposium

Hon. Laurel Broten to welcome leading experts in social-emotional development

TORONTO, May 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Recognized in 2011 as the top social innovation in Canada by the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, Roots of Empathy continues to be a leader in understanding social-emotional development. On May 14-16, Roots of Empathy will bring together 18 leading experts to present their research on neuroscience and social-emotional development, empathy and gender binary, and research on the Roots of Empathy program. The research symposium will provide a forum for experts to discuss a decade of research, and begin looking ahead to the next 10 years of study on the effects of the Roots of Empathy program on social-emotional development. Together, with Roots of Empathy, experts will determine what the new questions are, and how findings will be measured.

The Roots of Empathy Research Symposium will begin on Monday evening with a welcome by Hon. Laurel Broten, Ontario's Minister of Education. Representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ontario school boards, researchers from four countries and Roots of Empathy personnel from across Canada will attend the keynote address to follow by Allan Schore, PhD, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California.

Tuesday will be a full day of research presentations from leading academics including Alan Fogel, PhD, University of Utah; C. Sue Carter, PhD, University of Illinois Chicago, and Stuart Shanker, PhD, of York University. Several presentations will highlight the link between neuroscience and empathy, prosocial behaviours, the significance of relationships, and the associated mental health implications.

Wednesday begins with a half-day panel discussing the future directions for research. Following the discussion, the floor will be opened to all participating experts to share ideas and identify future directions for both the Roots of Empathy and Seeds of Empathy programs. In the afternoon, the experts will visit five classrooms to see Roots of Empathy in action, where they will observe how a 'tiny teacher' and his/her parent are helping children develop empathy.

Considered Canada's oldest and largest anti-bullying program, Roots of Empathy has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among schoolchildren while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. Roots of Empathy has been a pioneer in the field of emotional literacy since its first programs in 1996, working with the next generation to create a more caring, peaceful and civil society. The program - which teaches from the unique attachment relationship of an infant and parent - engages children in their classrooms, helping them to take another's perspective, understand their own feelings and the feelings of others - empathy.

Today, Roots of Empathy is embraced by English, French and Aboriginal communities in every province across Canada and on three continents. To date, it has reached 450,000 children worldwide.

What A research symposium to provide a forum for experts to discuss a decade of research,
  and begin looking ahead to the next 10 years of study on the effect of the Roots of
  Empathy program on social-emotional development. Together, with Roots of Empathy,
  experts will determine what the new questions are, and how findings will be measured.
   
Where  One King West Hotel & Residence
  1 King St W Toronto, ON
   
When  Monday, May 14, 2012
  7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  
  Welcome by Hon. Laurel Broten, and
  Keynote Address by Allan Schore, PhD
   
Who  -Mary Gordon, Founder/President of Roots of Empathy
  -Hon. Laurel Broten, Minister of Education- welcome address
  -Distinguished experts including Daniel Batson, PhD; C. Sue Carter, PhD; Alan Fogel,
  PhD; Andrew N. Meltzoff, PhD; Allan Schore, PhD; Stuart G. Shanker, PhD

For more information about Roots of Empathy, please see our online media kit.

SOURCE Roots of Empathy

For further information:

For a detailed symposium schedule, biographies of presenters or more information, contact: 

Lisa Conway
Communications Manager
T: 416-204-7884
E: lconway@rootsofempathy.org

Rebecca Collett
Communications Assistant
T: 416-944-3001 ext. 7919
E: rcollett@rootsofempathy.org

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