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Revealing the research 'hole' of early childhood education for sustainability : a preliminary survey of the literature

Davis, Julie M. (2009) Revealing the research 'hole' of early childhood education for sustainability : a preliminary survey of the literature. Environmental Education Research, 15(2), pp. 227-241.

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Abstract

In 2007, EER dedicated a special issue to Childhood and Environmental Education. This paper, however, makes a case for early childhood to also be in the discussions. Here, I am referring to early childhood as the before-school years, focusing on educational settings such as childcare centres and kindergartens. This sector is one of the research ‘holes’ that Reid & Scott (2006b) provoke the environmental education community to have the ‘courage to discuss’ (p. 244).

This paper draws on a survey of Australian and international research journals in environmental education and early childhood education seeking studies at their intersection. Few were found. Some studies explored young children’s relationships with nature (education in). A smaller number discussed young children’s understandings of environmental topics (education about). Hardly any centred on young children as agents of change (education for). At a time when there is a growing literature showing that early investments in human capital offer substantial returns to individuals and communities and have a long reach into the future - and when early childhood educators are beginning to engage with sustainability - it is vital that our field responds. This paper calls for urgent action – especially for research - to address the gap.

Impact and interest:

16 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 20486
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1080/13504620802710607
ISSN: 1469-5871
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Taylor and Francis
Deposited On: 15 May 2009 15:01
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:09

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