This isn't a commercial for Responsive Classroom, I promise.
My classroom has been Responsive with a capital "R" for several years. I deeply believe that empathy comes from a combination of connection and community. Basically, the more you build community, the better students understand each other, the greater the empathy.
A strong community collaborates in increasingly effective ways. Responsive Classroom is a child-centered management approach that gives ownership for the classroom back to the students. Through empathy interviews, they observe, tease out, and design rules and routines 'just right' for their unique class.