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Children's voices in ESD
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies. (Child and Youth Studies)
Masaryk University, Brno, Tjeckien.
2011 (English)In: Chapter in a Conference Anthology, Nicosia: OMEP Cyprus National Committee , 2011Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article is based on the report to the OMEP Congress in Gothenburg, 2010, and on an article published in International Journal of Early Childhood, 2011. It presents 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 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 two to eight years. In some countries, like China and 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 like to tell about their experience, thoughts and opinions. Informal child interviews seem to be a good way to introduce new topics for children and teachers. The 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’s 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 were categorised as 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 doesn’t 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
Nicosia: OMEP Cyprus National Committee , 2011.
Keyword [en]
Early childhood education, sustainable development, preschool, child interviews, child perspective
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Child and Youth Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-81014OAI: diva2:559035
European International Conference of OMEP (Organisation Mondiale pour l'Education Préscolaire), in Nicosia, Cyprus, May 6-8, 2011.
Available from: 2012-10-15 Created: 2012-10-06 Last updated: 2012-10-15Bibliographically approved

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