What might education for sustainability look like in early childhood? A case for participatory, whole-of-settings approaches

Davis, Julie M. (2008) What might education for sustainability look like in early childhood? A case for participatory, whole-of-settings approaches.

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Education for sustainability in the early years is a significantly under-practiced, under-resourced and under-examined field, even though young children are the ones who will bear the consequences of our actions and inactions on sustainability-related issues. After all, they will be living the longest as economic, social and environmental conditions worsen. Nevertheless, over the past decade, a sea-change has been occurring as interest in sustainability education for young children has expanded, and practitioners and researchers begin to think about, develop and implement early childhood programs with an environmental or sustainability focus. It is now being recognised that the early years are the most significant growth period in a child’s life. Experiences during this phase extensively influence physical and neurological developments which drive biological, psychological and social responses throughout the entire human lifespan. The implications for early learning for sustainability are obvious. This paper expands on these ideas and provides a short case study of how one early childhood setting in Australia has sought to embed sustainability throughout all its practices – management, curriculum and through its relationships with its community, and in so doing has provided numerous opportunities for young children to act as agents of change for sustainability. The paper concludes with a summary of key characteristics of organisational change that might help other early childhood settings and services to make sustainability a central priority.

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ID Code: 14695
Item Type: Other
Refereed: No
Additional Information: The contents of this report - "The Contribution of Early Childhood Education to a Sustainable Society - UNESCO Publications" - can be freely accessed online via the publisher's web page (see hypertext link). This paper can be found on pp.18-24.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: early chilhood education, education for sustainability, childcare, whole settings, sustainability, young children
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 13:03

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