Bat Conservation in the Foundation Stage: An Early Start to Education for Sustainability

Nikiforidou, Zoi and Lavin-Miles, Zoe and Luff, Paulette (2019) Bat Conservation in the Foundation Stage: An Early Start to Education for Sustainability. In: Teacher Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship : Critical Perspectives on Values, Curriculum and Assessment. Critical Global Citizenship Education . Routledge, Abington, pp. 113-122. ISBN 9781138385511

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This paper highlights the essential role of early years teachers and teacher educators in delivering an educational response to promoting a just and sustainable world. ESD/GC has expanded in schools and in further and higher education but has received less attention in early years, particularly in England. In the light of this, we offer an account of a practical project that provides an exemplar of ESD/GC in the early years – the Bat Conservation Project. The Bat Conservation Project has been implemented with young children in England and in a parallel project in Kenya and then used as the basis for a professional development resource for early years teachers. The Bat Project training resource comprises 3 phases/sections bringing together teachers’ own perceptions, attitudes and broader understanding of ESD with the implementation of a project with young children under the EYFS principles and the active learning approach and finally the review and future considerations of ways to enhance ESD. Precisely, in phase 1 the project proposes activities that focus on teachers’ personal and shared understanding of ESD; phase 2 is about exploring with pre-schoolers the worldwide issue of conservation of protected species (in this case bats); and phase 3 consists of assessing provision and planning further steps in promoting ESD in the Early Years classrooms. All the proposed activities are flexible and can be used by individuals and groups; face-to-face or online. Using this project as a basis, we then explore some of the possibilities and challenges of introducing meaningful curriculum for ESD/GC in the earliest years of education. We draw parallels between the opportunities for experiential learning on offer to the children and strategies for the training and professional development in order to build the knowledge, skills, values and capabilities of early years teachers and other early years practitioners. World OMEP and OMEP UK have been working in this direction by addressing the necessity and urge to consider ESD from Early Childhood onwards in accordance with the United Nation’s 2015-2030 sustainable development goals.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Early Childhood
Depositing User: Philippa Williams
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 11:41
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2020 11:41

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