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Creating a culture of sustainability: From project to integrated education for sustainability at Campus Kindergarten

Davis, Julie M., Gibson, Megan L., Rowntree, Noeleen E. , Pratt, Robert, & Eglington, Anissa (2005) Creating a culture of sustainability: From project to integrated education for sustainability at Campus Kindergarten. In Fihlo, Walter L. (Ed.) Handbook of Sustainability Research. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main [Germany], pp. 563-594.

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Abstract

A growing body of research identifies the early years as a critical and highly influential period in children’s development. In areas as diverse as crime prevention and health promotion, early years investments are considered cost –effective. Early investments around sustainability issues, too, can be expected to lead to positive individual and societal outcomes. While the early childhood education field has been slow to take up the challenges of the sustainability agenda, a sea-change is becoming apparent, and Campus Kindergarten is one such early childhood education centre in Australia leading the way. In 1997, the centre initiated a Sustainable Planet Project involving a variety of curriculum and pedagogical activities that have led to improvements in play spaces, reduced waste, lowered water consumption and improved biodiversity. However, such changes are not curriculum ‘add-ons’. A qualitative study of curriculum decision-making by staff shows that a culture of sustainability permeates the centre. One way that this is reflected is that children’s ideas provide much of the motivation and inspiration for changing to more sustainable practices. A whole centre project on water conservation, for example, was sparked when preschoolers (aged 4 years) articulated their concerns to staff about water use in the sandpit. Creating a culture of sustainability is a slowly evolving process requiring a big vision that incorporates small but realistic goals and achievements.

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ID Code: 2306
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author . Author contact details : j.davis@qut.edu.au
Additional URLs:
Keywords: early childhood, young children, education for sustainability, environmental education, cultural change, complexity, chaos theory
ISBN: 0820473081
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Peter Lang
Deposited On: 21 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:10

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