Beyond sustainability: New visions for human econnection in early childhood education

Kumara Ward (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter reconsiders the issues that educators face in engaging with early childhood education for sustainability (ECEfS) through the contemporary lenses emerging in this age of the Anthropocene. Relational-materialism and posthumanist perspectives expressed through arts-based pedagogies reinvigorate ECEfS and come together to form a synergy that lays the foundation for new ways of thinking and knowing about nature. I argue that arts-based processes, underpinned by the contemporary theories discussed, facilitate econnection, which is a deepening of children’s perceptions of and intra-actions with the natural world so they become an interwoven part of their metacognition, their being and understanding of their own lives. This reconsideration is timely as research shows there is resistance in early childhood settings to engaging with ECEfS and that early childhood services are least likely to meet the standards (with the exception of one other quality standard) in the quality assurance area related to ECEfS. This is despite the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards requiring early childhood services to embed sustainability as environmental, social, personal and educational priorities. This chapter explores the effect that the deeply embedded knowledge derived through econnection might have for a reciprocal nature/culture exchange and for a vision of the future that goes beyond what is sustainable and becomes a joyous, creative, and generative process for living and being on the Earth.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReimagining Sustainability in Precarious Times
    EditorsKaren Malone, Son Truong, Tonia Gray
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherSpringer Singapore
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811025501
    ISBN (Print)9789811025488
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Beach
    • Depression
    • Malone
    • Ozone
    • Verse

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


    Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond sustainability: New visions for human econnection in early childhood education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this