One issue that emerges in research is that teachers are not adequately prepared on the topic of addressing Sustainability in their classroom curriculum and there has been wide agreement on the importance of including the topic of Educating for Sustainability into the Teacher Education Curriculum.
I discussed this with my graduate students
and we agreed that it is easy to infuse this topic into all our teacher education
courses. We also agreed that it is never too early to begin addressing issues around conserving and caring for our environment in PreK-12 schools even with young
We decided to compile a panel
presentation on the theme of Educating for Sustainability. Participating
on this panel are my graduate students most of whom are early childhood
teachers in New York City schools and day care centers, and reflect a wide range of cultural, racial, ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversities as do the children they teach.
The course that they are taking with me is Social Studies in the Early Childhood Classroom. The New York State Pre-K Learning Standards for the Social Studies touches upon its 4 pillars: Geography, History, Economics, and Civics & Citizenship. Under each of these headings are sub-themes that include:
Geography: Our Earth and our Environment, Land and water, Location and Mapping, How people, products and ideas travel between places, How people and environment interact with each other, Conserving and caring for our environment,
History: Change over time, Continuity of human life, Learning about the past
Civics & Citizenship: Participating responsibly in the welfare of the group, Democratic living, Being empathetic, Being socially responsible & considerate of shared space
Economics: Production and Consumption, Scarcity of Resources, Needs & Wants, Interdependence of people and communities