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Early Childhood STEM Education for Sustainable Development

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-17, 00:00 authored by Coral CampbellCoral Campbell, Chris SpeldewindeChris Speldewinde
Early childhood education is crucial for the development of young children’s understanding of the natural world. Children have a role in sustaining a viable environmental and social future. This research interrogated key ideas concerning STEM education for sustainable development, drawing on seminal research and a range of government policy documents to formulate a futures-oriented approach to supporting children to build understandings in early childhood sustainability. Through the use of ethnography, a research methodology that uses both participation and observation of research participants, it became apparent that young children’s play-based learning enabled agentic responses in aligning with early understanding of STEM and sustainability. Using accepted descriptors of international Sustainable Development Goals within an early childhood research study, the research highlights how the development of interactive, learner-centred STEM teaching not only enables investigative, action-adapted learning, but also fosters independent learners who are responsive to their natural environment. The implication of this research is that further development of children’s environmental agency is suggested by the authors. The introduction of a whole-of-kindergarten approach that focuses on the systemic development of quality STEM education is posited as an avenue for educators to build young children’s understandings of sustainable development.

History

Journal

Sustainability

Volume

14

Pagination

1-11

Location

Basel, Switzerland

Open access

  • Yes

eISSN

2071-1050

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

6

Publisher

MDPI

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