Chapter 4: Developing a culture of sustainability in ECE

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Chapter authors

  • Alison Featherbe
  • Louise Lloyd-Evans
  • Helen Moylett

Chapter overview

In the early years, where our habits of mind and learning dispositions are formed, we can help to cultivate young children’s social imagination; supporting them to think creatively, critically and optimistically about the state of their world and their own actions. Here we draw on practical examples from Young Friends Kindergarten in Hove, East Sussex where the staff have been working on developing their hopeful ‘slow pedagogy’ and provision in this way for several years.

Chapter objectives

    • To outline and exemplify a “slow pedagogy” of education for sustainable development.
    • To demonstrate how sustainability in ECEC can be guided by the Three Pillars of sustainability
    • To suggest some actions for the future of sustainable practices in ECEC

    Further reading

    Boyd, D.J., Hirst, N. and Siraj-Blatchford, J. (eds) (2017). Understanding Sustainability in Early Childhood Education: Case Studies and Approaches from across the UK. Abingdon: David Fulton/Routledge.

    Hadland, C. (2020). Creating an Eco-Friendly Early Years Setting: A Practical Guide. London:

    Huggins, V. and Evans, D. (eds) (2018). Early Childhood Education and Care for Sustainability. London: Routledge.

    Supplementary material

    The following websites offer ideas to help settings towards sustainability.

    Eco Schools website

    Eco Wheel toolkit is designed to help ECEC settings become more sustainable.

    United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform our World

    The UN Earth Summit in Rio (1992)

    Young Friends Kindergarten, Hove. 

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