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Why Children Should be Taught Philanthropy

 

What are children learning?

Through the experience of family based philanthropic organisations donor children are benefiting, just as the recipients are.

They learn about worlds beyond their own experience. They also learn confidence in public speaking, how to make a case, how to choose a charity, research skills, fundraising and entrepreneurial skills, tolerance and empathy. They also learn how to organise through setting up cake stalls, garage markets, bike-a-thons and walk-a-thons.

Through this experience they can then define what philanthropy means to them and what change they would like to see in the world. They learn, just by small acts of giving, how to become a change maker, what it means to be a good person and citizen as well as learning from and teaching others how to collaborate and make a difference. They learn about the multiplier effect of small acts and the large impact that can have on their communities.

From an educational perspective, these skills reflect what children learn at school and fit squarely into the priorities of the newly released Draft Years 3–10 Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship.

The ACARA document states that the curriculum encourages the development of “personal and social capability” via the application of personal, interpersonal and social skills and behaviours; through working collaboratively and constructively in groups; developing their communication, decision-making, conflict resolution and leadership skills; and learning to appreciate the insights and perspectives of others.

There are many valuable models for encouraging children’s involvement in philanthropic activities. Time will tell how these programs impact individual donor children and beneficiaries. But it is clear that beginning at a young age in the family context will have positive flow on effects for the world in which these children live and give.

*Jackie King is a research associate at the Australian Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy at Swinburne University of Technology. She works as Research Fellow on the Philanthropy Education Project at the Asia Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy at Swinburne University. She is an advisory board member at Kids in Philanthropy

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.

Image from freedigitalphotos.net