Kindness at School: What Children’s Drawings Reveal About Themselves, Their Teachers, and Their Learning Communities

  • John-Tyler Binfet
Keywords: kindness, elementary students, teacher behavior, prosocial behavior


This study examined how students in kindergarten through third grade conceptualized kindness in school. Participants were asked to draw two pictures: one of themselves doing something kind at school, and one of a teacher doing something kind. Students’ drawings of their kindness reflected themes of maintaining friendships, physically helping others, and showing respect. Students’ drawings of teacher kindness revealed that students saw teaching itself as an act of kindness and that teachers showed kindness through physically helping others. Across drawings, no gender differences were found; however, differences in the themes emphasized by grade were identified.


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