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2019/08/12
1
EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT: WHERE DO WE
START???
By Irma Allen
9th Regional Centres of Expertise C...
2019/08/12
2
Issues and Priorities (Cont’d.)
• The Brundsted Report, which resulted in the Earth Summit
introduced the exp...
2019/08/12
3
Parenting and nurturing care
• Nurturing care envelops early child
development
• Comprises all essential elem...
2019/08/12
4
Brain Development:
Early childhood is the development phase of
fastest and greatest brain development
Advanci...
2019/08/12
5
Nature is Everywhere (or can be)
•Nature (great diversity and magnitude)
•It is dynamic, changing… a living l...
2019/08/12
6
Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale
GOAL CONTRIBUTION OF ECD TO ACHIEVING THE GOAL
1...
2019/08/12
7
Why ESD needs to begin in early childhood
1. Early childhood is the period of greatest and fastest brain
deve...
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Education for Sustainable Development: Where Do We Start?

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Education for Sustainable Development: Where Do We Start?
Dr. Irma Allen, RCE Eswatini
9th African Regional RCE Meeting
5-7 August, 2019, Luyengo, Eswatini

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Education for Sustainable Development: Where Do We Start?

  1. 1. 2019/08/12 1 EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: WHERE DO WE START??? By Irma Allen 9th Regional Centres of Expertise Conference August, 2019 Evolving Interacting Areas •Environment •Education •Environmental issues and priorities Environment •Originally applied to the natural physical environment (nature) •Extended to those things around us (surroundings) •Now understood of encompassing the physical, social and economic environments as a whole Education • Originally referred to learning activities within curricula in schools (formal). • Next, began to include learning activities to obtain certain goals outside the school system (non-formal) • Then, began to recognize “unplanned” learning which can take place anywhere (informal) As time progresses we learn more and more about “how” people learn, at different stages in life, and in different settings and circumstances. We are also constantly developing and testing new strategies and new aids to facilitate and make learning more efficient. (e.g. using technology) Issues and Priorities • Limiting population was a central issue and priority. Controlling birth rates became controversial. We began to prioritize the importance of not destroying species and habitats. The aim of nature education originally was “preservation.” • The age of Ecology (60s) broadened our horizons. We began studying and better understanding ecosystems, inter-relationships. The emphasis was to educate for “conservation” – the wise use of natural resources. Issues and Priorities (Cont’d.) • 1972 Stockholm Conference of the Human Environment • Several terms emerged, including “environmental education” to describe an education more centered on helping people adopt attitudes, knowledge and skills to help them prevent and solve environmental problems. • The focus was to change behavior.
  2. 2. 2019/08/12 2 Issues and Priorities (Cont’d.) • The Brundsted Report, which resulted in the Earth Summit introduced the expression “Sustainable Development”. It also confirmed that development and environment were “two sides of the same coin”. Since then, we are referred to environmental education as “Education for Sustainable Development” with a stronger emphasis on changing practices and adopting environmentally positive strategies for environment and for education as a whole • 1992 – Earth Summit (Rio) - Agenda 21, Forestry Convention, Climate Change, Anti Desertification Early Childhood Education – Current “Coal face” •Research has produced results that clearly show that early childhood is the most critical and important phase in a human being’s development Momentum is growing • Since The Lancet published the landmark series, Child Development in Developing Countries in 2007 and 2011 Scientific publications increased up to 7-fold Funding increased ECD actors increased One-third of countries adopted policies Global support with the SDGs 2000 2015 Growing Awareness of the Importance of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) • Research shows that investment in early childhood is the most cost effective. (For every $1 US dollar, the return is $13) • Early Childhood is now becoming an important issue at all levels: • Countries are developing National ECCD Strategies using a Multi Sectoral approach 2000 7 countries 2007 40 countries 2014 68 countries Countries with a national multi-sectoral early childhood development policy instrument in 2014
  3. 3. 2019/08/12 3 Parenting and nurturing care • Nurturing care envelops early child development • Comprises all essential elements for a child to grow physically, mentally and socially:  Nutrition  Health care  Love and security  Protection from danger  Opportunities to learn and discover the world The Multi Sectoral ECCE Framework • Pre-Conception:Adolescence-Parenthood • First 1000 Days: Conception-24 months • Pre-School: 2-5 years • Pre-Primary and Lower Primary School: 5-8 years The Case for Connecting Children with Nature: Why ESD needs to begin in early childhood
  4. 4. 2019/08/12 4 Brain Development: Early childhood is the development phase of fastest and greatest brain development Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale http://america.pink.com The experience-expectant, experience-dependent human brain Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale Sensitive periods and the developing brain Cell division and migration Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale The developing brain needs nutrition, stimulation and protection “Nature” is a Wonderful, Important Teacher • Provides continuous and varied stimuli • Provides content - A rich mine for exploration - where a child discovers and acquires the first building blocks of concepts, e.g. colours, textures, movement, changes, temperature….. • Offers opportunity for development in all the learning domains: Cognitive, Social, Psychomotor, Language Early learning is sensory A young child learns through the senses (sensory learning) Nature stimulates all the senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing Children sense, learn, remember, develop feelings and behaviors
  5. 5. 2019/08/12 5 Nature is Everywhere (or can be) •Nature (great diversity and magnitude) •It is dynamic, changing… a living laboratory •The Outdoor Classroom - concepts are beginning to be learned at an intuitive level Connecting Children to Nature: First Step Towards Stewardship •Initial interacting and “bonding” with the environment begins •Children begin to know living thing (they see them and start asking questions). •Children learn initial concepts, e.g about life and death First Step Towards Stewardship • They begin to make choices, (e.g. choose what they like and what they don’t; What they consider good and what they consider bad; choosing what they will or will not do) • They begin taking action (e.g. planting and/or watering plants) • They see the results of their own actions, e.g. not watering a plant. • They begin wondering and caring and taking responsibility Nature is Fun •Children can play to their hearts’ content •They can play by themselves or with others, or both •They are not constrained or directed •Children learn at their own speed. •Children act on their own volition Nature Offers Experiences for All Ages and Interests • The connection to nature should occur with parents and/or caregivers and infants, toddlers, pre school teachers, early childhood teachers, etc. (It is an ideal bonding activity) • The experiences may range from simple seeing, or feeling and develop into observation, manipulation, movements and interactions with the elements in the environment and lead to simple tasks, problem solving, collective work and ultimately to environmental projects. • There is a role for everybody: parents, caregivers, teachers, education and environmental researchers, municipalities, park attendants, game rangers, business organisations, etc. Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale Improving ECD is key to achieving the SDGs
  6. 6. 2019/08/12 6 Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale GOAL CONTRIBUTION OF ECD TO ACHIEVING THE GOAL 1 Eradicate poverty ECD interventions increase school grades and earnings 2 End hunger and improve nutrition ECD and nutrition interventions help to improve early growth & development 3 Ensure healthy lives ECD interventions improve quality of home practices, increase health service use and decrease chronic disease and mental ill-health 4 Ensure lifelong learning ECD interventions promote learning, grade achievement and productivity 5 Achieve gender equality ECD interventions increase learning motivation, especially for girls 10 Reduce inequality among and between countries ECD and nutrition interventions help children at risk to attain their developmental potential 16 Promote peaceful societies ECD interventions improve emotional regulation and social behaviour 17 Strengthen the means of implementation ECD interventions can strengthen coordination across sectors Improving ECD is key to achieving the SDGs Challenges for ESD in Early Childhood Education • There is still a general lack of public awareness of the importance of nurturing care and early childhood education • It is just recently being incorporated into school systems, thus there is a tendency to make it a period of preparation for school and align it to a formal curriculum • In developing countries, ECE generally a low priority in the allocation of scarce resources Challenges (Con’td.) • Skilled caregivers and early childhood educators are scarce and not well remunerated. • Increasing urbanization and development is encroaching on “nature” spaces. (thus there is need for more green areas and outdoor classrooms • ESD in Early Childhood Education is a relatively new area for environmentalists to read Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale Free pre-primary education “If we change the beginning of the story, we change the whole story.” — The beginning of life
  7. 7. 2019/08/12 7 Why ESD needs to begin in early childhood 1. Early childhood is the period of greatest and fastest brain development 2.“Nature” is a good teacher’ 3. Early learning is sensory (sense, learn, remember, develop feelings and behaviors) 4. Nature can be available everywhere, and in great variety 5

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