Understanding children's learning in sustainability: what do play-types have to teach us?
Cutter-Mackenzie, AN & Edwards, A 2011, 'Understanding children's learning in sustainability: what do play-types have to teach us?', paper presented to Early Childhood Education Conference, Melbourne, Vic., 3 - 4 June
In recent years the concept of child-centred play has been criticised, while more importance is being placed on the importance of environmental education and sustainability in early childhood curriculum. This session presents research from a project where teachers and children participated in three different types of play as basis for learning sustainability concepts; open-ended play, modelled play and purposefully framed play. Early analysis suggests that teachers are more likely to think about and plan for the learning of sustainability concepts through modelled and purposefully framed play. However, using the three play-types in combination may be associated with a more prolonged and thoughtful investigation into particular sustainability concepts rather than relying on one pedagogical approach alone. Findings also suggest that children are capable of engaging with sustainability concepts through play, particularly where the play experiences are informed by teacher thinking and planning.