Making ‘place’ for ecological sustainability in early childhood education

TitleMaking ‘place’ for ecological sustainability in early childhood education
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDuhn, I
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Pagination19 - 29
Date Published2012/02/01/
ISBN Number1350-4622
Keywordsearly childhood, global/local, indigenous knowledge, pedagogies of place, sociology of childhood
AbstractCulturally, childhood is often understood as a time of innocence which can mean that issues such as ecological sustainability are considered too problematic for early childhood practice. By drawing on findings from a research project that focused on issues of ecological sustainability in early childhood centres in New Zealand from Western and indigenous perspectives, this article contributes a critical perspective of ecological sustainability as an educational issue in early childhood education (ECE). The article falls into two parts: the first section gives an overview of some of the conceptual and theoretical issues that underpin critical perspectives of childhood, and provides a context for current global ECE discourse, while the second section introduces the research project and discusses the intersections of ‘local’ and ‘global’ in light of teachers’ emerging ‘pedagogies of place’. The intent is to demonstrate that critical engagement with such complex global issues as ecological sustainability generates spaces for new understandings of how ECE can contribute to theory and practice of education for sustainability.