1st Edition

Practising Compassion in Higher Education Caring for Self and Others Through Challenging Times

    180 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Presenting a collective international story, this book demonstrates the importance of compassion as an act of self-care in the face of change and disruption, providing guidance on how to cope under trying conditions in higher education settings.

    Practising Compassion in Higher Education presents an opportunity to learn through story and by taking proactive action for our wellbeing. It highlights the need to protect and maintain the wellbeing of staff and students, positioning the COVID-19 pandemic as a major catalyst of disruption. The chapters connect theory with lived experience, exploring self-compassion in work and research, compassion in teaching practice and within the personal/professional blur. The book’s contributors bring a range of theoretical and personal perspectives from various global contexts, sharing their own approaches to self-care and how compassion has become a central and crucial element of this practice.

    This book takes a unique approach to navigating and surviving the higher education environment and offers valuable lessons for the pandemic era and beyond. This will be an essential resource for students and professionals working in all areas of higher education.

    1. Caring for self and others through challenging times: Interrupting the pandemic with compassion and kindness in higher education

    Narelle Lemon, Heidi Harju-Luukkainen and Susanne Garvis

    Section 1: Kindness to self during COVID-19

    2. "It Be’s That Way Sometime": Mindfully Recalling Our Time During COVID-19

    Linda Noble with Malgorzata Powietrzynska

    3. Generating the place of self-compassion in higher education: An academic place of belonging as a catalyst of the Covid-19 pandemic

    Narelle Lemon and Joanna Higgins

    Section 2: Building compassion in our teaching during a pandemic

    4. Cultivating Compassion in Higher Education: International Autoethnographic Approach to Online Teaching During COVID -19

    Heidi Harju-Luukkainen, Jonna Kangas, David Smith, Mhairi C Beaton, Ylva Jannok Nutti and Rauni Äärelä-Vihriälä

    5. "It’s gonna be alright": Self-compassion for us and students during COVID-19

    Gwen Erlam and Kay Hammond

    6. Cultivating a language of compassion in higher education

    Maarika Piispanen and Merja Meriläinen

    Section 3: The personal and professional blur: Work-life family balance with COVID-19

    7. The personal and professional blur: Work-life family balance with COVID-19

    Tina Yngvesson, Ann-Charlott Wank and Susanne Garvis

    8. Spaces to care and places to share: Fostering a sense of belonging during the global pandemic through digitally mediated activity

    Donna Pendergast, Alison Sammel, Leonie Rowan, Mia O’Brien, Tracey McCann, Harry Kanasa, David Geelan, Beryl Exley, Catherine Dennett and Sakinah Alhadad

    9. Ethical responsibility in the struggle between the public and the private space: Challenges and possibilities in teacher education during the pandemic

    Marita Cronqvist


    Narelle Lemon is Associate Professor of Education at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and an internationally recognised researcher in education and initial teacher education bringing an interdisciplinarity across education, arts, and positive psychology. Her particular research expertise and interest relate to fostering wellbeing literacy in K–12 teachers, preservice teachers, and higher degree research students and academics in the higher education sector.

    Heidi Harju-Luukkainen is Professor of Education and Vice Director of Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She also works as Professor of Education at Nord University, Norway and leads two international research groups and a doctoral program.

    Susanne Garvis is Professor of Early Childhood Education at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. She is an international expert in policy, quality, and learning with early childhood education and care and has worked in Sweden and Australia. Her work has informed government policy around the world.