I don't believe compassion can be taught to children- Children must experience compassion from their parents and caregivers in their lives, daily, with their needs being met consistently in a loving nurturing manner, in order for them to develop and comprehend true compassion. Our culture does not model compassion or treat children with compassion. Traditional schools, the media and society's mainstream parenting models and expectations demonstrate grave, spirit-crushing disrespect of children. Many children raised in such environments have minimal interest in offering their time for free. Attachment Parenting and alternative learning environments model deep respect, love, nurturing, tenderness and joy towards children. In AP families, social justice and volunteer work may be the way of life and the children will likely naturally want to be a part of that work. However, forcing a child to "volunteer" against their will as a way to "teach" compassion that is not being demonstrated by parents/caretakers to the child will likely backfire, causing resenment and a lack of desire to do social justice work. My 17 year old son has done social justcie work with me since age 11 and he has taken it on as his own passion, in his own way (through his music), because it is simply the way we live- His needs are met by me, he is raised with love, nurturing and compassion, so extending that love to others is developing naturally in him.