Early childhood education

Davis, Julie M. (2011) Early childhood education. In Green Education : An A-to-Z Guide. Sage Reference, Washington DC USA, pp. 115-117.

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Young children are the most vulnerable and most at risk of environmental challenges, current and future. Yet, early learning around environment and sustainability issues and topics has been neglected and underrated in early childhood education even though there is an expanding body of research literature – from economics, neuroscience, sociology and health – that shows that early investments in human capital offer substantial returns for individuals and for communities and have a long reach into the future. Early childhood education for sustainability (ECEfS) - a synthesis of early childhood education (ECE) and education for sustainability (EfS) - builds on groundings in play, outdoor learning and nature education, but takes a stronger focus on learning about, and engagement with, environmental and sustainability issues. Child participation and agency is central to ECEfS and can relate, for example, to local environmental problem-solving such as water and energy conservation or waste reduction in a childcare centre, kindergarten or preschool, or young children’s social learning for Indigenous Reconciliation and cultural inclusivity. While the ECE field has been much slower than other educational sectors in taking up the challenges of sustainability, this situation is rapidly changing as early childhood practitioners begin to engage – it is fast moving from the margins of early childhood curriculum and pedagogic decision-making into the mainstream. This presents challenges, however, as ECEfS is somewhat misunderstood and misrepresented and, as a new field, is under-researched and under-theorised.

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ID Code: 48320
Item Type: Reference Entry
Additional URLs:
Keywords: early childhood edcuation for sustainability, environmental edcuation, sustainability
ISBN: 9781412996860
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Education and Extension (050203)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 SAGE Publicaitons
Deposited On: 30 Jan 2012 23:01
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2012 19:27

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