Nurturing empathy in uncertain times

Exploring how parents and educators can help grow empathy in children in digital environments and uncertain times. 

Learning and communication technology has changed the way children develop emotional intelligence. We face a crossroads in education that requires purposeful decisions about policy and curriculum to help nurture empathy in children.  

Educator and parenting expert Mary Gordon and Dianne Gereluk, Dean of UCalgary’s Werklund School of Education discuss how parents and educators can encourage empathy in children and help them see the power of diverse views. 

Watch the recording

About the speakers

Dr. Dianne Gereluk, PhD 

Dr. Dianne Gereluk, PhD is dean and professor at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. Her research examines educational policy and practice specifically related to politically contested and controversial issues in education. Her overarching philosophical focus examines how educators can create favourable conditions for robust political deliberation in an increasingly polarized civil society and develop children's dispositions to live together cohesively and respectfully despite diverse perspectives. 

Mary Gordon 

Mary Gordon is an award-winning social entrepreneur, educator, best-selling author and parenting expert who has created an international children’s charity, Roots of Empathy. Ms. Gordon’s work has been recognized by the UN, the WHO, and the Dalai Lama. She has received the Governor General of Canada Award for innovation, the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario and Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is the recipient of honorary doctorates in Canada and Europe. Roots of Empathy has research confirming its impact from three continents. 

Student panelist

Benedict Kojo Otoo 

Benedict Kojo Otoo is a PhD Candidate in Adult Learning at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. His research interests concern adult learning, intercultural capacities, immigration studies, and anti-racism education. 

About the moderators

Deborah Yedlin  

Community leader and Calgary journalist Deborah Yedlin was elected the 14th chancellor of the University of Calgary, effective July 1, 2018. She has been observing, commenting and writing about business and politics for more than two decades, as a journalist for the Financial Post, Globe and Mail and Calgary Herald. In addition to her writing, she has been a regular commentator for CBC Radio and Television, and CTV since 1996. 

Dr. Aleem Bharwani, MD  

Dr. Aleem Bharwani is a physician, Clinical Associate Professor, and Director of Public Policy and Partnerships for the Indigenous, Local, and Global Health Office in the Cumming School of Medicine and O'Brien Institute for Public Health. He has been recognized nationally and internationally for his leadership and education. He chairs the UCalgary Pluralism Initiative's Research, Social Innovation, and Engagement Committee and curated the UCalgary Pluralism and Global Citizenship webinar series. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and an active community citizen serving on a variety of community and corporate boards. Follow @AleemBharwani on Twitter. 

Pluralism & Global Citizenship webinar series

Valuing and creating value from difference in our local and global communities

The University of Calgary is proud to present the Pluralism and Global Citizenship webinar series. Co-hosted by University of Calgary Chancellor, Deborah Yedlin and Dr. Aleem Bharwani, Director for Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships at the Cumming School of Medicine, the series will explore the many dimensions of pluralism: the active process of inclusion – recognizing, respecting and valuing difference. 

  • Oct. 27: Multilateralism – Canada’s role in the world 
    Guests: Jean Charest, former Premier of Quebec and recognized multilateralist; and Dru Marshall, Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
  • Nov. 10: Integrative Thinking in Business
    Guests: Roger Martin, former Dean of the Rotman School of Business; and Dr. Justin Weinhardt of the Haskayne School of Business
  • Dec. 1: Nurturing Empathy in Children
    Guests: Mary Gordon, Canadian educator, social entrepreneur, child advocate and parenting expert; and Dr. Diane Gereluk, Dean of the Werklund School of Education
  • Feb. 9: Truth vs Civility Online: Fact, Fiction, and Funny
    Guests: Tim Caufield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta; Andrew Phung award-winning actor, improv comedian, emcee, and writer from Calgary.
  • April 13: The Power of Stories To Shape a COVID Recovery
    Guests: Meredith Preston McGhie, Secretary General, Global Centre for Pluralism; and Dr. Malinda Smith, Professor and Vice Provost (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)

Our partners

UCalgary’s Pluralism & Global Citizenship webinar series is presented with support from the Global Centre for Pluralism.