This book captures the now burgeoning research field of early childhood education for sustainability (ECEfS) and comprises insights from an ever-widening and diverse pool of researchers, who are promoting, engaging, and explaining the latest ECEfS research in the light of local, national, and United Nations global policy directives. With the increasing urgency of global climate disruptions, resource depletions, and biodiversity losses alongside greater human dislocation, the international scope of research and theory in this book provides a comprehensive guide to the role of sustainability in early childhood education, at a time when it is needed more than ever.

Elliott, Ärlemalm-Hagsér, and Davis have brought together a collection of studies that offer new insights and approaches to ECEfS which challenge dominant narratives surrounding early childhood education and sustainability, including topics such as:

  • how diverse worldviews and cultures challenge perceptions of sustainability;
  • how bold national early education policies and urgent shifts in teacher education are imperative for driving transformative practices; and,
  • how ECEfS curriculum and pedagogy can be incorporated successfully into early years settings.

This book will both inspire researchers and more deeply enable early years’ educators to practise sustainability with children, and so will be of great interest to scholars, lecturers, and researchers, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students, across the increasingly intersecting fields of sustainability and early childhood education.

part I|50 pages

Ethics and Values

chapter 1|10 pages

Analysis of Historical and Contemporary Early Childhood Education Theories in the Anthropocene

ByEva Ärlemalm-Hagsér, Sue Elliott

chapter 2|12 pages

From Autonomous Child to a Child Entangled within an Agentic World

Implications for Early Childhood Education for Sustainability
ByKassahun Weldemariam, Arjen Wals

chapter 3|13 pages

Unsettling Settlers’ Ideas of Land and Relearning Land with Indigenous Ways of Knowing in ECEfS

ByDebra Harwood, Pam Whitty, Carie Green, Enid Elliot

chapter 4|13 pages

Alternative Worldviews on Early Childhood Education for Sustainability

Reviewing and Re-Examining Concepts, Images of Children, and Sustainability
BySylvia Christine Almeida

part II|58 pages

Historical and Sociocultural Contexts

chapter 5|16 pages


An Update on Countries Previously Represented in the First Volume (Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, plus China)
BySue Elliott, Eva Ärlemalm-Hagsér, Okjong Ji, Wei Wang, Glynne Mackey

chapter 6|13 pages

ESD Coalition of Preschool and Municipality

A German Perspective on Early Childhood Education for Sustainability
ByUte Stoltenberg, Barbara Benoist-Kosler

chapter 7|12 pages

Research in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability

Policies and Perspectives from India
BySylvia Christine Almeida, Yuki Ohara

chapter 8|15 pages

Early Childhood Environmental Education in the USA

Baby Steps Toward a Sustainable Worldview
ByVictoria Carr, Linda Plevyak

part III|111 pages

Curriculum and Pedagogy

chapter 9|14 pages

Early Childhood Teacher Education and Education for Sustainability

A Review of the Literature and Mapping of Courses
ByJulie Margaret Davis, Juliet Elizabeth Davis

chapter 10|13 pages

Physical Education and Natural Sciences in Norwegian Early Childhood Teacher Education

Mutually Supporting EfS?
ByBarbara Maria Sageidet, Marianne Presthus Heggen, Ingunn Berrefjord Ugelstad, Kristin Grøsvik, Synnøve Eikeland

chapter 11|12 pages

Pedagogies for ECEfS in Bush Kinder Contexts

A Comparative Report on Two Australian Studies 1
ByLeanne Grogan, Fran Hughes

chapter 12|16 pages

Unruly Voices

Growing Climate Action Pedagogies with Trees and Children
ByNarda Nelson, B. Denise Hodgins

chapter 13|13 pages

A Project Narrative about Digital Tools, Children’s Participation and Sustainability in a Swedish Preschool

ByUlrika Johannesson, Linda Andersson, Eva Ärlemalm-Hagsér, Sue Elliott

chapter 14|13 pages

Stories of Disruption

Perspectives on the Use of Images to Prompt Children’s Action Taking for Sustainability
ByLyndal May O’Gorman

chapter 15|13 pages

The Place of ECEfS in the Turkish Teacher Education System

ByŞule Alici

chapter 16|15 pages

Children’s Voices About Fish and Tadpoles in an Australian Pond Ecosystem

It’s All About Balancing and Belonging
BySue Elliott, Rosanne Pugh