The serious work of learning and sustainability in the early years

Document Type


Publication details

Cutter-MacKenzie, AN, Edwards, S & Widdop Quinton, H 2012, 'The serious work of learning and sustainability in the early years', Eingana, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 12-16.


What’s learning, what’s work and what’s play? Which category do children view environmental and sustainability activities as belonging to?

Even young children have definite views about what constitutes work, learning and play. We were interested to discover that young children were able to articulate concepts about waste minimisation, water quality and plant propagation and that children tended to classify activities around these concepts as real and valuable work. In a recent study of early years settings that investigated the connections between children’s acquisition of conceptual knowledge and different pedagogical approaches we gained insights into children’s perceptions and pedagogical approaches that successfully navigate a balance between the student/child-centred and teacher-directed, disconnect that are relevant to teachers at all levels.

Find in your library