Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine

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On April 20th, 1999, the halls of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, reverberated with the sound of gunshots as two students, highly armed and consumed with rage, killed thirteen students and wounded twenty-three before tuning the guns on themselves. It was the worst school massacre in our nation's history. Can we prevent a tragedy like this from happening again?

In Nobody Left to Hate, leading social psychologist Elliot Aronson argues that the negative atmosphere in ...

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Overview

On April 20th, 1999, the halls of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, reverberated with the sound of gunshots as two students, highly armed and consumed with rage, killed thirteen students and wounded twenty-three before tuning the guns on themselves. It was the worst school massacre in our nation's history. Can we prevent a tragedy like this from happening again?

In Nobody Left to Hate, leading social psychologist Elliot Aronson argues that the negative atmosphere in our schools--the exclusion, taunting, humiliation, and bullying--may have contributed to the pathological behavior of the shooters. At the very least, such an atmosphere makes school an unpleasant experience for most normal student.

But it doesn't have to be. Nobody Left to Hate offers concise, practical, and easy-to-apply strategies for creating a more supportive, stimulating, and compassionate environment in our schools. Based on decades of scientific research and classroom testing, these strategies explain how students can be taught to control their own impulses, how to respect others, and how to resolve conflicts amicably. In addition, they show teachers how to structure classes to promote cooperation rather than competition, without sacrificing academics. On the contrary, education is often greatly enhanced.

For parents, teachers, or anyone concerned with what is happening in our schools, Nobody Left to Hate provides a simple and effective plan of action that will make their children's school not only a safer place, but a more humane place of learning.

About the Author:

Elliot Aronson's standing as one of the world's most distinguished and versatile social psychologists is reflected in the wide variety of national and international awards he has received for his teaching, for his scientific research, for his writing, and for his contributions to society. Among these awards: in 1970, the American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded him its prize for distinguished basic research in social psychology. In 1975, the American Psychological Association presented him with the National Media Award for writing his book The Social Animal. In 1980, he received both a distinguished teaching award and a distinguished research award from the American Psychological Association. APA also awarded him the Gordon Allport prize for his contributions to the reduction of prejudice and the betterment of intergroup relation. In 1981, he was named Professor of the Year by the American Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 1994, he received the Distinguished Scientific Career Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychologists. Inducted in 1992, Elliot Aronson is a fellow of the American Academy of Art and Sciences. In 1999, he received the American Psychological Association's highest award for a lifetime of scientific contributions.

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Editorial Reviews

Paul Chance, PhD
Aronson is an eminent social psychologist and an engaging and lucid writer. His book is one that every educator and parent should read.
Psychology Today
James Garbarino
James Garbino, Professor of Human Development at Cornell University Americans are too ready to blame individuals for social problems like youth violence.  Elliot Aronson brings to bear the power of social psychology to help us understand why a negative school environment can push vulnerable kids over the edge and how restructuring that environment can bring them back into the fold.  At a time when many people in public life are offering quick fixes and punitive strategies based upon faulty analyses of the problem, Aronson offers a road map for changing the social environment of the school from competition and nastiness to cooperation and acceptance. Bravo!
Len Saxe
Len Saxe, Ph.D., Professor of Social Welfare, Brandeis University Dr. Aronson has written an important book. It has the potential to change how the public, and policy makers in particular, think about the Littleton tragedy and how to make our schools safe havens where the joy of learning is the focus--not the fear of violence. There is no question that Aronson is in a position to be an authoritative voice as the leading social psychologist of our era--a scientist with an extraordinary record of accomplishment and a communicator par excellence.
Philip Zimbardo
Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Stanford University Aronson's brilliant social psychological analysis of the Columbine High School massacre offers us the mind to understand this mindless violence and the heart that could prevent it from erupting again. . . . Nobody Left to Hate offers a root cause solution based on decades of scientific psychological research and wise theory by the author and his colleagues--change the structure and values of our nation's classrooms to make them more equivalent to an ideal home atmosphere."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780716741329
  • Publisher: Freeman, W. H. & Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 7.58 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

1 What Happened at Columbine? 1
2 Some Things You Need to Know About Humans as Social Animals 21
3 Dealing with Disasters, Part 1: Pump-Handle Interventions 45
4 Dealing with Disasters, Part 2: The Importance of Root Cause Interventions 69
5 Root Cause Interventions, Part 1: Can't We All Just Get Along? 89
6 Root Cause Interventions, Part 2: Building Cooperation, Empathy, and Compassion in the Classroom 125
7 Summary and Conclusions: It Ain't What We Say That Counts, It's What We Do 169
References 179
Web Resources 193
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2000

    Practical Strategies for schools

    Elliot Aronson is a social psychologist who has written a number of books and has published his research in journals. Nobody Left to Hate Teaching Compassion After Columbine is an insightful book that looks at what the school climate is across our nation, particularly in middle and high school. Aronson points out that bullying, humiliation, and exclusion are found in schools throughout our country, not just in Littleton, Colorado. This is a town that is like so many across our nation. He shares with us a variety of approaches that can be implemented to promote respect and cooperation within our schools. This will not happen over night. Educators need to apply these strategies to create safe schools in which all students feel accepted and safe. The strategies that he has presented are easy to accomplish. The first response to our schools Aronson refers to as 'pump handle interventions.' These are simple interactions that may stop a problem, but don1t look at the cause of the problems. Examples of pump handle interventions are adding metal detectors, security guards and censorship of the media. These may be helpful, but not right for all schools. They also don1t get to the reasons why students have murdered their classmates and why they felt that they needed to do so. 'Root cause interventions' dig deeper and look at ways to help students feel less isolated and intimidated. Teachers need to help students develop emotional intelligence (recognize the emotions and perspectives of others and to develop empathy from this) and classrooms with cooperative learning. Aronson presents his method of cooperative learning called the jigsaw. Students this way can learn to accept and appreciate all that each other have to offer and benefit from one another. This easy to read book provides some valuable insight into the climate of our schools today. The book gave a perspective as to why these awful things are happening. Aronson provides the reader with some easy to use and implement strategies that would not cost schools a lot of money. Aronson's strategies help students become better students and people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2000

    Great Science/Clear Writing

    Elliot Aronson has written a superb book. His analysis of the Columbine tragedy is both wise and compassionate. What is more, he has come up with some excellent strategies for preventing such tragedies in the future. These strategies are easy to apply and are not 'pie-in-the-sky' solutions, but are based on years of Aronson's scientific research in the schools. Through this research, he has found ways to improve the social atmosphere in the schools and the academic performance of the students simultaneously. A very impressive piece of work. Bravo! The book is beautifully written in clear, jargon-free, easy to understand language. This is a book that should be read by anyone who cares about what is happening in America's schools. I recommend it with enthusiasm to teachers, parents and school administrators.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2000

    Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine

    This is an important book. The author tackles a horrendous problem and writes with such well-reasoned good sense that my first reaction was: 'Why didn't I think of that?' This is one of those rare books that is so clear and so convincing that it makes me want to run out and approach strangers on the street and tell them about it. I'm going to give copies to all the teachers I know. Read it. Please.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2000

    Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine

    This book provides a brilliant solution to a serious social problem. In this book, Professor Aronson not only suggests a way of reducing lethal violence in our schools but he also provides a roadmap for making schools more exciting, more compassionate, centers of learning--places where all students can learn the academic material without the problem of being taunted and humiliated. This is a book that all teachers and parents should read.

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