Learning Outcome 2: ‘Children are connected with and contribute to their world’ is often used when talking about sustainability but there is a lot more to it than that. Here’s 5 tips to support children with learning outcome 2.
- Give children a voice in creating rules and expectations: Children have great ideas when it comes to what is appropriate social behaviour and what isn’t, and involving them in these discussions allow for an assessment of their understanding. Discussions like these can also support children’s understanding and willingness to follow the rules.
- Be mindful of how open you are to diversity: Being role models to children involves reflecting on our own practices. Media, family, and society all shape our views of the world and if we are not critically analysing this then we can subconsciously pass on our own biases to children. It is important to actively reflect on our openness to diversity and hold each other accountable to not letting our own biases impact our interactions and relationships.
- Challenge children’s understanding of biases: Depending on whether we are consciously present with the children or busy getting through the day and constantly worrying about the routines can impact how open we are to meaningful discussions with children. When children make statements like “but boys don’t look after babies”, “girls can’t be police”, or “Aboriginal people don’t wear clothes”, and we don’t questions their thought processes and challenge their biases, we allow these ideas to perpetuate.
- Explore the difference between equality and equity with children: Often we think of fairness as everyone getting the same. That is what equality is, equal for all, which means regardless of what you need you all get the same. True fairness is about equity, everyone getting what they need to succeed and have the same opportunities. If we expect everyone to learn the same way, at the same time, we are doing the children a disservice. Children are capable of understanding that different children need different tools/resources/time/support to engage if we give them the opportunity to learn about this.
- Allow opportunities for children to connect with their environment: The more children connect to their environment, the more they are likely to value and respect this and engage in discussions about caring for it. This could be through gardening, waste disposal, recycling, cleaning, etc. Again it comes down to allowing children to be part of the discussion and build a relationship with their environment to embed sustainable practices into the service, instead of just doing something to tick a box.
If you haven’t already done so, why not sign up for the monthly newsletter to get more tips and ideas at http://eepurl.com/b7KQHT