Children as eco-citizens?

  • Marianne Presthus Heggen Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Barbara Maria Sageidet University of Stavanger
  • Nina Goga Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Liv Torunn Grindheim Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Veronica Bergan The Arctic University of Norway
  • Inger Wallem Krempig The Arctic University of Norway
  • Tove Aagnes Utsi The Arctic University of Norway
  • Anne Myklebust Lynngård Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Abstract

Education for sustainability in early childhood tends to focus on practices and advocacy, rather than on the aims of this education. We suggest that the aim should be to consider children as being and becoming eco-citizens. This suggestion is built on an exploration of children as eco-citizens. With theories concerning child-sized citizenship we suggest a description of children and adults as being and becoming eco-citizen. We explore this through the fields of nature connection and science and children’s curiosity. We find that environmentally friendly practices as gardening and harvesting wild food show how children’s eco-citizenship is realizable. We support this additionally by references to how children’s literature, seeing how children depicted as eco-citizens can support the notion of children as eco-citizens. Through these analyses, we conclude that children should be viewed as being and becoming eco-citizens.

Author Biography

Marianne Presthus Heggen, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Marianne Presthus Heggen is Associate Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). She is an ecologist and teaches natural science, outdoor and environmental education in early childhood teacher education. Together with her team, she has developed the course “Sustainable Development through Involvement”. Her research focus on the field of education for sustainability in early childhood. She leads the research group Education for Sustainability and Being and Becoming Eco-Citizens, at KINDknow - Kindergarten Knowledge Centre for Systemic Research on Diversity and Sustainable Futures.

Published
2019-11-26
Section
Articles