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Children's Voices About the State of the Earth
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies. (Child and Youth Studies)
Department of Educational Sciences,Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Early Childhood, ISSN 0020-7187, Vol. 43, no 2, 153-176 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article will present a large project on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The project was organised by OMEP, the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education, where the authors were the appointed as project coordinators. The purpose of ESD is to reorient education towards sustainability. The aims of the project were to gather knowledge about children’s thoughts, comments and understanding of a picture showing the globe and some children, and to enhance the awareness of ESD among early childhood educators. In 2010, OMEP members in 28 countries interviewed 9 142 children aged two2-8 years. In some countries, such as Chinaand USA, teacher students have been studying ESD and then performed the child interviews, thus involving colleges and universities in an ESD-reorienting process. The result shows that children interpret the drawing of the Globe in many different ways. Most common is the answer that the children are cleaning the globe because it is dirty. But many children also thought that the children on the picture were painting the globe. The motivations given why the children are cleaning or painting are aesthetical, to take care of an environmental problem and promoting health. Most country reports highlight the fact that the children do not recognise the concept sustainable development. In some countries, it does not exist as a word and there is no translation into their mother tongue. However, many interviewers were amazed by all the knowledge the children showed them. The children had thoughts and ideas to bring up about the state of the earth in relation to sustainability. The result shows that young children have knowledge about the environment, thoughts about environmental issues, the responsibility people carry and ideas about what to do.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2011. Vol. 43, no 2, 153-176 p.
Keyword [en]
early childhood education, sustainable development, preschool, child interviews, child perspective
National Category
Research subject
Child and Youth Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61900DOI: 10.1007/s13158-011-0031-0OAI: diva2:438471
Available from: 2011-09-02 Created: 2011-09-02 Last updated: 2011-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Engdahl, Ingrid
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