Gratitude in Early Childhood Education

In April 2017 I joined with Dr Megan Gibson from Queensland University of Technology, to investigate the role of gratitude in Early Childhood Education. Although gratitude is starting to be investigated on a wider scale in primary and secondary education, it has been largely neglected in early years education, with very little research in this area.

We have been engaged by the Anglican Schools Commission in Brisbane to take 16 directors of Early Childhood Centres through a “Leading with Gratitude” program from April to August 2017. We will be using participatory action research to investigate the outcomes. Stay tuned for news of publications that arise from this research project.

We will also be co-presenting a paper that reports our initial findings at the Education Transforms Symposium which is being hosted by the Peter Underwood Centre at the University of Tasmania in July 2017.  We also hope to present on this topic at the AITSL Early Years conference in Brisbane in August.

Another Early Childhood context where we have been exploring gratitude is with six of the curriculum and professional development leaders at Lady Gowrie in Tasmania. For the past four months, I have been facilitating a book club around Gratitude in Education: A Radical View. It has been really enriching to discover the relevance and reported importance of these ideas and gratitude practices to a brand new context.

In June 2017, I will be giving a keynote presentation on “Gratitude in Early Childhood Education: Exploring the potential for flourishing relationships and resilient leadership” at the conference being organised by Lady Gowrie Tasmania: Education and Care Leadership Conference: Destination Tasmania. Megan and I will also be presenting workshops on gratitude at this conference.

See my article  Enhancing relationships through gratitude in the Early Childhood Context, recently published in ReflectionsGowrie Australia Publication, Issue 5. 2017.

See all Research Projects.

Portrait of Kerry Howells, author and academic