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

In Students by General Account

  • Durham University
  • Education
  • harriet.f.broadfoot@durham.ac.uk

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.



Harriet Broadfoot & Chris Pascal (2020) ‘Exploring experiences of compassion in the daily rhythms of one early childhood community’, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 28:4, 457-474, DOI: 10.1080/1350293X.2020.1783922