Children’s Conceptualizations of Kindness at School
This study investigated perceptions of kindness in 112 young children (57 girls, 55 boys, ages 5–8) in three schools. To assess perceptions of kindness, students were asked to draw what kindness looked like to them and to draw an example of something kind done recently at school. Findings indicated students perceived kindness within the context of dyadic relationships, the recipients of kindness were familiar to them, and kind acts were typically situated outdoors; helping physically, maintaining friendships, including others, and helping emotionally were prevalent themes within drawings. Boys drew acts of kindness as helping physically more frequently than did girls, whose drawings indicated kindness as maintaining family relationships. Findings are discussed within the context of positive education and the promotion of prosocial behaviour.