International Journal of Early Childhood

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 307–326 | Cite as

Sustainability and Relationality Within Early Childhood Care and Education Settings in Aotearoa New Zealand

Original Article

Abstract

This paper discusses one aspect of a recently completed two-year study, that of the enactment of relationality within early childhood care and education practice. The research project, Titiro Whakamuri, Hoki Whakamua. We are the future, the present and the past: caring for self, others and the environment in early years’ teaching and learning, involved ten early childhood centres from across New Zealand (Ritchie et al. 2010). Relationality refers to our lived relation to other human beings, other living creatures, and to the non-living entities with whom we share our spaces and the planet. The study has demonstrated some ways in which early childhood educators were able to extend children’s understandings of their relationality, their connectedness to others, and to the natural world, following theoretical underpinnings of the Indigenous Māori, such as manaakitanga (caring, generosity) and kaitiakitanga (environmental stewardship) (Tikanga Māori. Living by Māori values, Wellington, Huia, 2003), and of western epistemologies such as an ethic of care (The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education, New York, Teachers College Press, 2005a; Educating citizens for global awareness, New York, Teachers College Press, 2005c, Philosophy of education, Boulder, Westview Press, 2007).

Keywords

Ecological sustainability Relationality Indigenous perspectives 

Résumé

Cet article aborde l’un des aspects d’une étude d’une durée de deux ans, récemment complétée, soit l’application du concept de la dimension relationnelle dans la pratique des établissements pour la petite enfance. Le projet de recherche, « Titiro Whakamuri, Hoki Whakamua. Nous sommes le futur, le présent et le passé : prendre soin de soi, des autres et de l’environnement dans le cadre de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage préscolaire » , a impliqué dix centres de la petite enfance à travers la Nouvelle-Zélande (Ritchie et al. 2010). La dimension relationnelle fait référence à nos interactions avec les autres êtres humains, les autres créatures vivantes et les entités non animées avec qui nous partageons l’espace et la planète. L’étude a démontré que les éducateurs de jeunes enfants disposaient de certains moyens pour mieux faire comprendre aux enfants leurs relations et leur connexion avec les autres et avec le monde naturel, selon des concepts théoriques provenant des indigènes maoris, comme le manaakitanga (affection, générosité) et le kaitiakitanga (intendance de l’environnement) (Tikanga Māori. Living by Māori values, Wellington, Huia, 2003), et d’épistémologies occidentales comme une éthique de sollicitude (The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education, New York, Teachers College Press, 2005a; Educating citizens for global awareness, New York, Teachers College Press, 2005c, Philosophy of education, Boulder, Westview Press, 2007).

Resumen

Este trabajo analiza uno de los aspectos de un estudio de dos años concluido recientemente, el de la puesta en práctica de la relacionalidad dentro de la educación en la primera infancia. El proyecto de investigación, Titiro Whakamuri, Hoki Whakamua, « Somos el futuro, el presente y el pasado: el cuidado de uno mismo, de los demás y del medio ambiente en la enseñanza y el aprendizaje en la primera infancia » , incluyó diez centros educativos de primera infancia alrededor de Nueva Zelanda (Ritchie et al. 2010). La relacionalidad se refiere a nuestra relación vivida con otros seres humanos, otras criaturas vivientes y las entidades no vivientes con quienes compartimos nuestros espacios y el planeta. El estudio ha demostrado algunas maneras en las que los educadores de la primera infancia pudieron ampliar el entendimiento de los niños con su relacionalidad, su conectividad con los demás y con el mundo natural, siguiendo fundamentos teóricos básicos de la población indígena maorí, tales como manaakitanga (cuidado, generosidad) y kaitiakitanga (responsabilidad sobre el cuidado del medio ambiente) (Tikanga Māori. Living by Māori values, Wellington, Huia, 2003), y de epistemologías occidentales como la ética del cuidado (The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education, New York, Teachers College Press, 2005a; Educating citizens for global awareness, New York, Teachers College Press, 2005c, Philosophy of education, Boulder, Westview Press, 2007).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unitec Institute of Technology, Te Whare Wānanga o WairakaAucklandNew Zealand

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