Refocusing Environmental Education in the Early Years: A brief introduction to a Pedagogy for Connection

Alexia Barrable (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)
    193 Downloads (Pure)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number61
    Number of pages8
    JournalEducation Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2019


    • Early childhood
    • Ecocentric education
    • Environmental education
    • Nature connectedness
    • Pedagogy
    • Sustainability

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Public Administration
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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