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Harriet Broadfoot

Research Student

Research Student in the School of Education
Postgraduate Associate of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing


Harriet is an ESRC doctoral student and Postgraduate Associate of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing, as well as a qualified Montessori early childhood education teacher. Her research is currently exploring compassion in ECE using a multi-sited ethnographic framework. The study entitled "Towards Communities of Compassion: Exploring What Affords a Compassion Enabling Environment in Early Childhood’, draws together the interrelated themes of well-being (human/nonhuman), global citizenship and sustainability, with compassion as the common denominator. Specifically, it is concerned with opportunities afforded by the materiality of the spaces and places to which early childhood settings expand/connect, for children and practitioners to experience compassion in relation to human/nonhuman aspects. This seeks to illuminate what constitutes a compassion enabling environment in support of its embodiment as a 'way of being'. The findings intend to inform recommendations for ECE practice enhancement, 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.

Funded by the ESRC, this study is in collaboration with the Flourish Project and being conducted under the expert supervision of Dr Mazzoli-Smith, Dr Tummons and Dr Taggart (Reading University).


Research interests

  • Compassion, global citizenship, sustainability and well-being
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early learning environments
  • Experiences with/in ECE spaces
  • Young children's experiential learning
  • Montessori Approach

Esteem Indicators

  • 2023: Research Affiliate, Flourish Project:
  • 2020: ESRC NINE DTP Studentship Award:
  • 2000: Director of The Children's Voice:
  • 2000: Project Manager National Children's Day UK:
  • 2000: Board of Directors Save Childhood Movement:
  • 2000: Peer Reviewer: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal:
  • 2000: Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy :


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