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Research in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability: International Perspectives and Provocations 2018-03-21

`Start early` is a motto we have come to hear often when advocating for children`s health and development across myriad disciplines. The editors and authors of Research in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability claim that such a motto is also imperative in the education of, and for, sustainability. In a world plagued by myriad environmental, economic and social problems, and the obstinate and outdated perspectives regarding such problems (failure to acknowledge the anthropogenic causes of climate change and other sustainability issues, failure of individuals to understand that small, seemingly innocuous actions may have profound consequences, etc.), a major cultural shift is clearly needed. The book asserts that one of the best potential ways of addressing problems of sustainability is by educating young children to be critical thinkers, change-makers and models of sustainable behaviour; fostering an educational environment in which children are immersed in sustainability issues from a young age becomes an imperative step towards solving potential future local, national and global problems. This process involves both a basic educational component, as well as active collaboration with teachers, other members of the child`s family and the greater community to highlight issues that are both personally relevant (e.g., having fresh, healthy food to eat) or have broader social significance (e.g., reducing community poverty and promoting alternative transportation options). The editors identify the research framework as early childhood education for sustainability (ECEfS), which differs slightly from the more traditionally prominent education in sustainability (children`s relationships with nature) and about sustainability (exploring environmental topics) (see Davis [2009] for these distinctions and their implications for research and practice).


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