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Propelling Children’s Empathy and Friendship

Department of Sociology, University of Barcelona, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Deusto, 48007 Bilbao, Spain
Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9DA, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7288;
Received: 6 July 2020 / Revised: 29 August 2020 / Accepted: 2 September 2020 / Published: 5 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Successful Actions on Sustainability Impact)
Schools play a crucial role in creating supportive and safe environments, and positive feelings are key in fostering such environments. Schools as Learning Communities, based on the dialogic participation of the whole community, are improving social cohesion. However, the underlying processes leading to such transformations remain underexplored. This article suggests that successful educational actions (SEAs) implemented in a school as a learning community, analyzed in this case study, promote positive feelings such as friendship and empathy, contributing to a safe and supportive environment. The purpose of this study was to analyze how SEAs generate friendship and empathy and their impact in the environment in a school as a learning community in Spain. To that end, the methods used were interviews with 18 students and 10 teachers, and reviews of two documentary films featuring the school. Results suggest that SEAs generate friendship and empathy among many children by promoting mutual support and sharing narratives in such dialogic settings. In addition, developing friendship and empathy contributes to reducing violent behaviors and promoting more inclusive attitudes among many students. This study concludes by providing insights on how SEAs can contribute to safe and supportive environments through fostering friendship and empathy. View Full-Text
Keywords: schools as learning communities; successful educational actions; friendship; empathy; school environment schools as learning communities; successful educational actions; friendship; empathy; school environment
MDPI and ACS Style

León-Jiménez, S.; Villarejo-Carballido, B.; López de Aguileta, G.; Puigvert, L. Propelling Children’s Empathy and Friendship. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7288.

AMA Style

León-Jiménez S, Villarejo-Carballido B, López de Aguileta G, Puigvert L. Propelling Children’s Empathy and Friendship. Sustainability. 2020; 12(18):7288.

Chicago/Turabian Style

León-Jiménez, Susana, Beatriz Villarejo-Carballido, Garazi López de Aguileta, and Lídia Puigvert. 2020. "Propelling Children’s Empathy and Friendship" Sustainability 12, no. 18: 7288.

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