Sustainability and relationality within early childhood care and education settings in Aotearoa New Zealand.
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Citation:Ritchie, J. (2013). Sustainability and relationality within early childhood care and education settings in Aotearoa New Zealand. International Journal of Early Childhood. 44(3) : 307-326.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2610
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).