In 2013, Maury was named an Ashoka Changemaker School. Changemaker Schools are a community of education institutions that prioritize the cultivation of empathy, teamwork, leadership, and changemaking in their students. Maury has chosen to concentrate on the skill of empathy and the school’s culture and curriculum is infused with this focus.
“The ability to understand what someone is feeling”
That’s the textbook definition of empathy. But when put into practice, empathy means a whole lot more. It means the ability to grasp the many sides of today’s complex problems and the capacity to collaborate with others to solve them; it means being as good at listening to the ideas of others as articulating your own; it means being able to lead a team one day, and participate as a team member the next.
In today’s world, it is important to be able to take the perspective of others. Indeed, how well we do — whether in the classroom or the boardroom — depends more than ever on how well we forge and navigate relationships. In this way, empathy is the new literacy: essential for us to communicate, collaborate, and lead.
Empathy also gives us the will and the tools to be effective changemakers for the good. It motivates us to imagine and then build something better together. But it also ensures we build well: informed by a deep understanding and respect for others, working collaboratively, and creatively addressing problems at their root. If we want a society of changemakers, where problems no longer outrun solutions, then we have to prioritize empathy because changemaking is essentially empathy in action.
For more information on empathy, please visit www.startempathy.org
What is Ashoka?
Founded in 1980, Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries putting their system-changing ideas into practice on a global scale.
Ashoka’s mission began in catalyzing individual entrepreneurs, but has evolved to enabling an “everyone is a changemaker” world. This means equipping more people – including young people – with a skillset and a connection to purpose, so that they can contribute ideas and effectively solve problems at whatever scale is needed in their family, community, city, workplace, field, industry, country, and beyond. This evolution comes from the realization that, in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the speed of change is accelerating at an exceptionally rapid pace. Ashoka believes in a true world community, where everyone contributes to change for the good of all.
Ashoka’s Changemaker Schools Network is a global community of leading elementary schools. These schools share best practices with each other and benefit from opportunities to collaborate with other schools, connect with Ashoka’s partners, present at conferences, and more.
For more information on Ashoka, please visit www.ashoka.org