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GreaterGoodScienceCenter

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The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: Not only do we sponsor groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, we help people apply this research to their personal and professional lives.

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Greater Good Science Center: Why We Should Teach Empathy to Preschoolers

By Shuka Kalantari 

One Berkeley preschool is baking empathy into its curriculum—and for good reason.

In the fall of 1979, Yalda Modabber had just moved from Iran back to her birthplace in Boston. Her timing was bad: Just weeks later later, a group of armed Iranians took more than 60 U.S. citizens hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Iran. As a result, her fellow students bullied her ruthlessly.

Golestan Education's Yalda Modabber

“It was nonstop for two years,” says Modabber, who has dark curly black hair and a warm smile. “That period in my life was so hard that I blocked it out. I don’t even remember my teachers’ names. The entire class turned on me.”

Modabber is now the principal and founder of Golestan Education, a Persian-language preschool and after-school program in Berkeley, California that collaborates... Read more

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