Promoting Adolescents' Prosocial Behavior

Kidron, Yael; Fleischman, Steve
April 2006
Educational Leadership;Apr2006, Vol. 63 Issue 7, p90
The article discusses ways to promote adolescents' prosocial behavior. Saying a kind word to a classmate, acknowledging other students' feelings, sharing books and advice, defending a victim of bullying--these are just a few of the prosocial behaviors that can enhance students' social and academic lives at school. Because people know that children do not develop social values in a vacuum, educators, policymakers, and researchers are increasingly emphasizing the importance of the school's role in building students' prosocial skills. The term prosocial behavior means positive actions that benefit others, prompted by empathy, moral values, and a sense of personal responsibility rather than a desire for personal gain. Research on child development suggests that one of the most effective ways in which schools can encourage prosocial behavior is through schoolwide programs designed to teach and model social skills. All infants are born with some empathetic ability that enables them to connect emotionally with other human beings.


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