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Early Childhood Studies as a site for Education for Sustainability, Eco Literacy and Critical Pedagogy

Hirst, N (2019) Early Childhood Studies as a site for Education for Sustainability, Eco Literacy and Critical Pedagogy. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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This PhD by published work is a submission of a body of work completed within a period of four years. This narrative aims to offer a coherent context for my PhD journey, however, it also acknowledges that my ideologies, my epistemology leaks throughout this portfolio of evidence. The questions I have posed, the theorists I have chosen, what I report, and how I report my evidence are all ‘saturated by the leakages of mischievous lubricant and debris of autobiographical hauntings’ (Derrida cited in Boyne 1990, 1). Whilst proof is absolute and incontestable, the evidence presented in the portfolio allows for personal and professional subjectivities, what Bray et al, (2000) refer to as ‘meaning making’ through ‘cycles of action and reflection’ (90). The theme of Education for Sustainability is woven throughout the publications, and whilst there is a swathe of literature related to ESD, this body of work is unique in its attempt to acknowledge the synthesis between learning for ESD within higher education and the pedagogies associated with early childhood education and the developing research area of Early Childhood Education for Sustainability. The peer reviewed publications have been circulated within various communities of practice bringing the research area of Early Childhood Education for Sustainability into the higher education arena. With the 2030 agenda validating the importance of new ways of thinking and doing (UNESCO, 2015), the publications note the need for reflexivity which is reinforced by an uncertainty of the future (Jickling and Sterling, 2017). Core texts have been written and accessed by students on a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies programme and publications capture place based and project based pedagogies to enable critical thinking as ‘an agential and political act’ (Hunter et al 2018, 50) and in terms of sustainability education, the critical thinking must activate students to reach beyond a skill set of reason and argument, to a more intentional uncovering of taken for granted understandings and ‘ways of knowing’ the world. Methodological considerations include conversational and discourse analytic methods which are inherently reflexive (Flick, 2011), Participatory action research and critical and visual methodologies are also represented. The sustainable practices noted in the publications may also provoke early childhood students and educators to think and act differently, not only about sustainability concerns, but also early childhood pedagogy and philosophy and critical pedagogies within higher education.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainability; Early Childhood; Critical pedagogies; Eco Literacy
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Education
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2019 08:51
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 14:46
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00010512
Supervisors: Brundrett, M
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10512
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