Sustainability in Early Years
Sustainability is important in our Early Childhood provision.
sustainability refers to the ability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
In the early years, sustainability involves teaching young children about the importance of protecting the environment, conserving resources, reducing waste, and promoting a healthy and equitable society. This is important because the actions we take today will have a significant impact on the world that our children and grandchildren will inherit. This is why at The Curiosity Approach we promote the use of recycled materials, reclaimed resources and look to natural items instead of constantly purchasing from academic resource catalogues . To be creators not consumers. To help children understand the beauty of this planet, to look after it, admire its beauty and respect it unconditionally.
Teaching sustainability in the early years helps children develop an understanding of their role in creating a sustainable world. It also promotes responsible citizenship and helps children learn to make informed decisions about the environment and their own health. By teaching young children about sustainability, we can help create a generation of environmentally conscious individuals who are committed to making a positive impact on the world.
Research has shown that teaching sustainability in the early years can have a positive impact on children's environmental attitudes and behaviours. For example, a study conducted by the University of South Australia found that children who participated in a sustainability program showed a greater understanding of environmental issues and were more likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviors than children who did not participate in the program (Elliott et al., 2014).
Have you heard of ESD?
ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) emerged as a response to the growing recognition of the need for a more sustainable future. It is an approach to learning that aims to empower individuals and communities to make informed decisions and take responsible actions towards a more sustainable future. ESD recognizes that sustainability issues are complex and interconnected and require a multidisciplinary approach, involving social, economic, and environmental considerations.
The concept of sustainable development was first introduced in the 1980s, with the publication of the Brundtland Report by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development. The report defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
This report was a landmark in the recognition of the need for a more sustainable future and paved the way for the adoption of ESD.
ESD ( Education for sustainable development ) is important to adopt in early years because it can help children develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to become responsible and active citizens who can contribute to creating a more sustainable future. Early childhood is a critical period for the development of attitudes and behaviors towards the environment, and ESD provides a framework for educators to help children understand the interconnections between social, economic, and environmental issues.
By adopting ESD in early years, children can learn about the importance of sustainability and develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment and future generations. They can also develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as creativity and innovation, which are essential for finding solutions to sustainability challenges. In addition, ESD can help children develop a sense of empathy and respect for different cultures and perspectives, which can promote social cohesion and contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful future.
In conclusion, teaching sustainability and ESD in the early years is critical to creating a sustainable future for our planet. By promoting sustainability in the early years, we can help children develop a sense of responsibility for the environment and a commitment to creating a more sustainable world.
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Elliott, S., et al. (2014). Sustainability education in early childhood: An investigation of Australian early childhood educators’ attitudes towards and confidence in teaching sustainability. Environmental Education Research, 20(2), 276-291. Want to learn more about our modern day pedagogy and how we encourage a sustainable future?