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    How can I nurture compassion in my classroom?

    Joynt, Gregory (2019) How can I nurture compassion in my classroom? Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The growing competitive and capitalist nature of our Western world appears to be increasingly filtering down into our education system. Excellence in education seems to be synonymous with academic achievement and performance; something that can be quantified and used for economic gain. As a result, education may not be answering the expressed needs of our world such as the need for solidarity and compassion for others during times of suffering and struggle. Reflecting on my own teaching practice, I realised that my actions were not fully led by my values but led by this ever-mounting pressure on teachers and children to perform and achieve. My role of teacher needed to go beyond academic instruction by also actively nurturing caring and compassionate relationships in my classroom. The purpose of this self-study action research project is to identify how I can change and improve my practice in order to nurture compassion in my classroom. The three month intervention was conducted in a co-educational urban school in Dublin. The majority of children in my class are from a prosperous socio-economic background. Academic achievement is highly valued and prioritised in the school. Using the curricular subjects, I integrated and linked the topic of compassion as seamlessly as possible with curricular objectives and outcomes. I used teaching methodologies and Drama strategies that provided opportunities for the children to explore compassion through perspective taking, identifying common connections and expressing compassionate action. I applied a lens of compassion to my teaching and actions. Through the use of thematic data analysis, common themes emerged revealing the findings of my study. The results indicated that compassion can be nurtured in the primary classroom as part of the current curriculum. Analysis conveyed that particular teaching methodologies have an influential role in nurturing compassion in the classroom. Drama strategies proved effective in the enactment of compassion. Active engagement with the skills of compassion was evident in the data. Overall, the data evinced that the children had developed a deeper understanding of compassion. Evidence indicated the important role of self-compassion and collegiality for teacher wellbeing. Personally and professionally, I learned that nurturing compassion requires practice, imagination and courage. Keywords: action research, self-study, critical reflection, compassion, self-compassion, Loving-Kindness meditation, methodology, Drama, emotional intelligence, social and emotional learning

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Froebel; Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education; nurture; compassion; classroom;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 13705
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2020 16:53
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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