Exploring how adults who work with young children conceptualise sustainability and describe their practice initiatives
Hill, A, Nailon, D, Getenet, S, McCrea, N, Emery, S, Dyment, J & Davis, JM 2014, 'Exploring how adults who work with young children conceptualise sustainability and describe their practice initiatives', Australasian journal of early childhood, vol. 39, no.3, pp. 14-22.
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THE DEVELOPMENT OF EARLY Childhood Education for Sustainability (ECEfS) practices with young children from birth to eight years is an emerging area in academic and professional literature. ECEfS practices reflect growing awareness of the imperative for twenty-first century societies to respond to the pressures of unsustainable patterns of living. This article contributes to the growing area of ECEfS research by exploring sustainability conceptualisations and practice initiatives as reported by early childhood teachers, educators, pre-service educators and parents in Tasmania. We do this by analysing data collected from participants who attended ECEfS professional learning workshops, entitled Living and learning about sustainability in the early years. Findings show that environmental (nature/natural) aspects of sustainability dominate these adults' practice initiatives and understandings. While many of the reported educational initiatives are to be celebrated, the authors contend that there is much work to be done to extend thinking and practice beyond the natural/environmental dimension in order to embrace holistic notions of sustainability incorporating social, economic and political dimensions. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]