Food is more than just a basic need, it’s an everyday opportunity for engaging young children with sustainability learning.
Under the NQS, the Quality Improvement Plan requires educators to revisit their philosophy. Sustainability learning provides many opportunities to consider your own values as an educator working with young children. Sustainability is much more than ‘just thinking about the environment’; the United Nations perspective is that sustainability involves economic, social and political dimensions in addition to the environmental aspects of life.
A series of sustainability resources were shared including:
Learning ‘in’, ‘about’ and ‘for’ the environment. A good NQS PLP Newsletter on this theme
8 Aboriginal ways of learning website – this offers a terrific Aboriginal pedagogical framework based around the processes and relations of learning.
Cycles of food.
Health promoting settings.
Emergences of the PL evening.
After a discussion of these and more resources for introducing sustainability ideas, Yvonne asked “What about introducing Aboriginal perspectives through food and gardens?” This set off numerous conversations – about the children visiting Riawunna where they explored a bush tucker garden. Some educators added what they knew of other people working in the area of introducing Aboriginal perspectives to young children. In addition to growing bush tucker plants, ideas were shared about learning about bush medicine plants and beginning to grow native species in the gardens. As there was significant interest in this discussion Nadine suggested a future professional learning event might be worthwhile focusing just on the area of Aboriginal perspectives.
Many ideas were shared around food being incorporated in numerous ways into learning including making pictographs with food; reducing waste through litterless lunchboxes; and food growing initiatives as fund raising ideas.