Harriet Broadfoot: “Towards Communities of Compassion: Exploring What Affords a Compassion Enabling Environment in Early Childhood Education”

In Students by General Account

This praxeological study focuses on children and practitioner’s lived experience of compassion within ECE settings. Building on my previous research (Broadfoot and Pascal, 2020) it seeks to: firstly, explore what opportunities ECE spaces afford for experiencing compassion within the daily life of a setting; and secondly, illuminate what constitutes a compassion enabling environment, in support of its embodiment as a ‘way of being’. This will involve a holistic exploration of both human and non-human aspects of ECE spaces (and the relations between them) using a theoretical assemblage and multi-sited phenomenological ethnographic methodology. In collaboration with the Flourish Project, the findings intend to inform recommendations for ECE practice enhancement and positive change in pedagogy and curriculum, in a move towards educating for collective well-being and empowering young children as global citizens to live sustainably in our interconnected world.

I am a qualified Montessori ECE teacher and work with the Save Childhood Movement as Project Director of The Children’s Voice; a new initiative that aims to promote children and young people’s vision for the ways in which we can create a more caring and sustainable world. In addition, I manage National Children’s Day UK which raises the importance the rights and freedoms of children to ensure they can grow into happy, healthy adults.



Broadfoot, H., & Pascal, C. (2021). An exploration of what conditionsfacilitate experiences of compassion in one early childhood community. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293x.2021.1985558

Broadfoot, H., & Pascal, C. (2020). Exploring experiences of compassion in the daily rhythms of one early childhood community. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 28(4), https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293x.2020.1783922

Bennion, H., Broadfoot, H.  T. Meng, Y. Zhang, Q. Zhou, & K. Fan (2023). Imagining Better Education: Conference Proceedings 2022.  Durham University. https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1675899

Broadfoot, H. (2022). Importance of compassion and its link with SDG13 climate action. [Online Teaching Resource]