Teaching global citizenship is teaching about how we are affecting the wider world and taking an active role to work with others to make our planet more equal, fair and sustainable.
Global citizenship encompasses cultural respect, social justice, diversity amongst other values involving environmentalism, recycling and sustainability. Global citizenship is all about encouraging young people to develop the knowledge, skills and values they need to engage with the world. By embedding these messages into children’s daily lives, we hope to inspire an ethos of care and citizenship. It is about the belief that we can all make a difference
We have a myriad of initiatives at Kids College centred around global citizenship. We have a veggie patch, a herb garden, compost system and a worm farm. Our favourite incursion is Living eggs, watching the eggs hatch into baby chickens and experiencing seeing these lifecycle for ourselves. We also welcome wonderful Worm Waste who bring their wonderful worms for us to learn about. Our children love their trips to Woolworths to see all the wonderful things that go into where our food comes from. We have our lovely pets, our crazy crabs, and our fish. Within our building we run sustainability and recycling initiatives at Kids College, anything from our solar panels on the roof to our electronic communications. We also active recycle brad bags and bread tags.
A global citizen is someone who is aware of and understands the wider world – and their place in it. They take an active role in their community, and work with others to make our planet more equal, fair and sustainable.
Global citizenship is all about encouraging young people to develop the knowledge, skills and values they need to engage with the world. And it’s about the belief that we can all make a difference.
Education for global citizenship is not an additional subject – it’s a framework for learning, reaching beyond children’s schools and into the wider community.
Global citizenship helps young people to:
- Build their own understanding of world events.
- Think about their values and what’s important to them.
- Take learning into the real world.
- Challenge ignorance and intolerance.
- Get involved in their local, national and global communities.
- Develop an argument and voice their opinions.
- See that they have power to act and influence the world around them.
What’s more, global citizenship inspires and informs teachers and parents, too. But above all, it shows young people that they have a voice. The world may be changing fast, but they can make a positive difference – and help build a fairer, safer and more secure world for everyone.
Global citizenship encompasses cultural respect, social justice, diversity amongst other values involving environmentalism, recycling and sustainability.
Why teach these concepts in early childhood?
There is a window of opportunity in which, we as early childhood educators have an active and significant role to play in ensuring our children experience connections with the natural environment in meaningful in ways, ways that will assist their understanding of connectedness both with and in the natural environment and ultimately, promote action for sustainability.
Our early childhood curriculum is geared towards experiential, open-ended learning and is, therefore, compatible with any programs that encourage a holistic approach to global citizenship.
Kids College connection to our community
By developing an environmentally responsibility and sustainability education program at Kids College, we can reach families in our community. We are also inclusive of our early childhood staffing team and who may benefit from the increased knowledge and awareness of environmental issues as well as the economic, health (human and environmental), and social benefits that may be associated with a change in behaviours and practice. Sound environmental values are then instilled in our children where us adults who care for them are modelling positive environmental attitudes and behaviours, and sharing with them our positive interactions and connections with the natural environment.
The wider community and the environment also indirectly benefit from the development and implementation of an early childhood sustainability program that encourages such things as efficiency in the use of energy and water, better waste management, and environmentally friendly policies and practices.
Global citizenship encompasses
- Social Justice
- Cultural respect
- Sustainability education
1. Sustainability Education
Sustainability education is: ‘education for the environment, and more broadly acknowledges the complexities of social, environmental and economic systems, and their implications for sustaining life’
Sustainability education underpins everything that happens in the day-to-day running of an early childhood service, and must is implemented as part of the ongoing education at our centre.
Our aim with education for sustainability is to promote a sense of responsibility, respect, empowerment, active participation, enquiry, and social change.
Kids College is part of Little Green Steps
Little Green Steps, is a sustainability education program for early childhood centres and preschools. Early Childhood education years that the foundations are laid for the development of environmentally responsible adults. And, in this UN Decade for Sustainability 2005-14, it is our responsibility, as adults, to provide all the support we can to the youngest members.
At Little Green steps they believe in the power of Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (ECEfS). It equips children with the tools they need to actively contribute to a healthy, safe, sustainable future
We are giving children the confidence and skills to have a positive impact on their lives and their environment. This program teaches us as adults how to make a difference, but more than that is encourages us to actively involve the children in this learning and embed these ideals into our everyday lives.
Environmentalism is the belief that keeping the earth healthy is a good thing to do. It can also mean the actions that people take to protect the world from pollution, habitat and species loss, climate change, deforestation, and more.
Being environmentally responsible is, above all, a choice. It means basing decisions on values related to respect for the environment. With climate change having concrete effects on many, the impact on people across the planet is at stake.
There are countless reasons for environmental responsibility: leaving behind a viable world for generations to come; reconnecting with nature; eating healthier by reducing pesticides; the feeling of making a difference, etc.
Food Cycle Framework at Kids College
Developing a ‘food cycle framework’ within the daily emergent curriculum we can provide many valuable opportunities for interactions between adults and children while they carefully consider the world around them.
Growing vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees, preparing and cooking food, processing food wastes, and even sharing the experience of role-playing shopping for food ingredients, can all help young children better understand how to care for the environment and themselves.
Children develop positive attitudes and values by engaging in open-ended learning experiences, by joining in discussions that explore solutions to the issues that we face, and by watching the adults around them model sustainable practices. A favourite excursion is our trips to Woolworths, where we get to see where our food comes from and gives them a sense of how it is all connected.
Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.
We have a beautiful art atelier where we collect and make use of all different types of offcuts, plastic bits and assorted goodies to recycle and reuse. We use these to create amazing art and for functional purposes. We have created many wonderful art pieces.
Our favourite was our robot. We keep our paint in glass jars to use in our art atelier under supervision. We also run plastic free in our kitchen cooking in our kitchen and our children and staffing team are encouraged to use reusable drinking bottles.
Kids College is proud to be the only childcare centre working with Artist Vee in her mission to protect our beaches from single use plastics. We have enjoyed many wonderful moments of inspiration with Artist Vee and we loved making our fish and our huge turtle.
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce at Kids College
What is recycling?
Recycling is important to preserve the environment and to leave the planet in a better condition than we found it
The good news that all of us can do our part to recycle, and it starts the youth of Australia. If children learn from early on to recycle, they will carry that good habit with them for life. With some easy effort and guidelines, kids can learn how to become part of the solution to recycling for a healthier planet.
Recycling is how we take trash and transform it into new products. There are several types of recycling processes that allow some materials to be used one or more times. Recycling is good for us and the environment because it reduces the use of new raw materials to product new products. It also reduces the energy we use, improves the quality of air and water, and fights climate change.
Soda cans, plastic water bottles, plastic milk cartons, newspapers, cereal boxes and old computers are just some of the common items that are recycled every day. If all of us were to recycle just a few items per day that we throw away, we can go a long way to improving the environment for our futures and future generations.
What is reusing?
Just as we learn the importance of recycling, we also should learn about reusing. Reusing means combining reusing materials and using items that can be reused. For example, paper plates cannot be reused, and reusable cutlery lowers the energy that is needed to make new products, and it also can be reused to prevent more waste in the landfill.
Reusing things that can be reused means less pollution and more of our precious natural resources are left intact. Think about the possibilities of a product before you throw it away; it could be reused for another purpose. How about that old t-shirt? It could b used as a car rag. Reuse is different from recycling, but it does lead to reduced consumption – always a good thing.
What is reducing?
Another important thing to learn, in addition to recycling and reusing, is reducing. Keeping our new purchases to a minimum is a way to reduce our use of natural resources. Reducing consumption of physical objects is important, as is reducing our use of electricity, water and gas to make new products. Reducing means to lower usage from the very start.
Cutting back on purchases you do not really need lowers the use of materials and also lowers energy waste through gas and transportation costs. Reducing also can apply in other areas of life. Carpool, bike or use public transportation when possible. Take shorter showers and ask your parents to replace old appliances with Energy Star ones.
Social Justice’ is the integral supply of affluence, opportunities and human rights within a society. Social Justice’ allocates human rights and obligations to the foundations of society allowing individuals to be given basic welfare and aid. Justice helps us figure out what is fair, what is right and what is wrong. When justice is working, everyone feels like they are being treated fairly.
A commitment to social justice in childcare means taking responsibility for working individually and collectively to ensure that everyone has meaningful opportunities to participate in the economic, social, cultural, communal and political life of the nation.
‘Social Justice ‘ and ‘Global Citizenship ‘ have a connection regarding each other because the key principle ensuring a better life for all, frames us not as individuals but as a society of people.
Convention on rights of child at Kids College
In 1989 something incredible happened. Against the backdrop of a changing world order world leaders came together and made a historic commitment to the world’s children. They made a promise to every child to protect and fulfil their rights, by adopting an international legal framework – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Contained in this treaty is a profound idea: that children are not just objects who belong to their parents and for whom decisions are made, or adults in training. Rather, they are human beings and individuals with their own rights. The Convention says childhood is separate from adulthood, and lasts until 18; it is a special, protected time, in which children must be allowed to grow, learn, play, develop and flourish with dignity. The Convention went on to become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history and has helped transform children’s lives.
Children will learn about the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals and children’s rights, and identify actions they can take to make both of these a reality in their own lives and communities.
Cultural respect can be defined as the recognition, protection and continued advancement of the inherent rights, cultures and traditions of a particular culture.
We celebrate families from all walks of life and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging in principle and practice. Studies show that cultural appreciation and awareness contribute to building a positive self image.
There are many ways that we can teach children about their own cultures while exploring others. This includes teaching children to be bilingual or multicultural, celebrating holidays and traditions, bonding over traditional meals, and sharing stories of family history and connections.
RAP at Kids College
Since 2006, Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) have enabled organisations to sustainably and strategically take meaningful action to advance reconciliation. Kids College are part of the Narragunnawali Reconciliation Action Plan platform. Based around the core pillars of relationships, respect and opportunities, RAPs provide tangible and substantive benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, increasing economic equity and supporting First Nations self-determination.
The Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education platform has the resources and tools for our service to contribute to the reconciliation movement. We have a Narragunnawali Reconciliation Action Plan that builds relationships, respect and opportunities in our classrooms and within our community.
The greater community and our country’s commitment to our Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander cultures set a foundation for respect and understanding that children need to grow up with. Each child is growing up being affected by the wonderful communities we live in. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory places child development in an ecological perspective, in which an individual’s experience is at the centre, within a nested interconnected systems of influences. Each of us are part of each child’s nested systems of influence and we all shape our children’s minds. It is up to us all to teach love and cultural respect.
Quote from Kids College Philosophy
‘We also embed sustainability and recycling at Kids College to support our place in our modern global climate of environmental responsibility.”
‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ and Kids College values our partnership with parents and our community that takes pride in our position as our children’s home away from home, ensuring our families and children build a strong sense of belonging to the kids College family.’
National Quality Standards
3.2.3. The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.
6.2.3. The service builds relationships and engages with its community
Kids College Family
At Kids College we work each day embedding our values and philosophy into each facet of what we do. We continually improve our practices by critically reflecting and engaging in meaningful relationships with our community and for this we need your support and input. Make sure to follow Kids College Childcare on facebook, watch for our regular emails and keep an eye on our Kids College website. Share in our vision of creating the very best childcare where children experience love, laughter and learning every day. You can reach us on Jennifer@kidscollege.com.au
With love, laughter and learning from your friends in the
‘village it takes to raise a child’
Teacher Jen and the Kids College Childcare family