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Young children, the outdoors and nature
Young children, the outdoors and nature

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1.3 Futures thinking

Nicola Kemp, one of the authors of this course, is the Academic lead for the Academy for Sustainable Futures at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) in England, an organisation you will explore in the next activity.

Activity 2 Futures thinking

Timing: Allow 20 minutes

Have a look at the ‘Futures Thinking’ page of CCCU’s Exploring Sustainability website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and note down your responses to the questions below. There are no right or wrong answers – it is a reflective activity to develop your personal perspective.

  1. Given the context of unsustainability, why do you think it has been challenging for the early childhood sector to respond?
  2. Spend some time imagining and dreaming about your ideal early childhood setting for babies and toddlers that encourages learning ‘in, about and for’ the environment. What would it look like and how would it work, who would it be for, where would it be? Try and sketch your ideas and continue to add notes and thoughts as you work through this session. You could add inspirational quotes from things you have read or listened to.
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There are many reasons why it has been challenging for the early childhood sector to respond to the challenges of unsustainability. These include valid concerns about the emotional responses (such as guilt or anxiety) that knowledge about the state of the world could invoke in young children. Futures Thinking offers a positive way of engaging with sustainability by putting the focus on the ‘world we want’ and planning for this.