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Reviving botany in the curriculum: The botanical journey of two Western Australian early childhood teachers

Beasley, K., Hesterman, S.ORCID: 0000-0001-7491-5527 and Lee-Hammond, L.ORCID: 0000-0002-9699-7508 (2022) Reviving botany in the curriculum: The botanical journey of two Western Australian early childhood teachers. Australian Journal of Environmental Education . First View.

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Environmental education across the early years has become increasingly important in Australia since the implementation of the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum. These documents promote a connection to nature for young children as well as environmental responsibility. In Western Australia, large areas of natural environments are bush spaces, accessible by young children, families and schools. There is no existing research investigating early childhood teacher’s knowledge of plants in these bush spaces and the utilisation of these spaces in teaching botany as part of their teaching practice. The discussion in this article examines part of a larger year-long multi-site case study of the changes in the botanical understanding of two early childhood teachers of children aged 5–8 years, in Western Australian schools both before and after the Mosaic Approach, botanical practices and Indigenous knowledges were incorporated into their teaching practice. This article focuses on the changes of botanical literacies of the early childhood teachers specifically. The findings suggest that using inquiry-based and place-based methods and including First Nations Peoples’ perspectives about plants whilst teaching in the bush can significantly increase the plant knowledge and understanding of teachers, as well their own scientific and botanical literacies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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