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Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010061

Refocusing Environmental Education in the Early Years: A Brief Introduction to a Pedagogy for Connection

School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee, Scotland DD1 4HN, UK
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecocentric Education)
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Abstract

The aim of this article is to introduce an effective, evidence-informed, and developmentally appropriate framework of practice for Environmental Education (EE) in the early years, with the ultimate goal being to achieve environmental sustainability. Initially, the author will briefly examine the current state of EE in the early years, contextualising it within a gradual shift from EE to the more encompassing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The article then proposes that there is a need for a refocusing of EE in the early years that has as a central goal—the promotion of nature connectedness, benefiting both the next generation of learners, as well as our planet. A four-point draft of a pedagogy for connection will be outlined that comprises sustained contact, engagement with nature’s beauty, cultivation of compassion towards non-human nature, and mindfulness. The latest empirical research from ecopsychology and developmental psychology will be used throughout in order to synthesise this brief initial draft of a pedagogy for connection. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental education; sustainability; early childhood; nature connectedness; pedagogy; ecocentric education environmental education; sustainability; early childhood; nature connectedness; pedagogy; ecocentric education
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Barrable, A. Refocusing Environmental Education in the Early Years: A Brief Introduction to a Pedagogy for Connection. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 61.

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