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NESA Endorsed - Sustaining Our Place: Living Eco Smart in the Early Years

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Sustaining Our Place: Living Eco Smart in the Early Years                                                       "A fundamental change is needed in the way we think about education's role in global development, because it has a catalytic impact on the well-being of individuals and the future of our planet. Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to be in gear with  21st century challenges and aspirations and foster the right types of values and skills that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth, and peaceful living together"  Irina Bokova, Director-General UNESCO 2015

This day of inspiration for early years professionals will introduce education for sustainability. Supported by new resources and a variety of speakers, participants will consider practical strategies to grow Eco Smart and to support children's learning about environment responsibility. Choose from the following inspirational but practical workshops being run across the day.

9.30am - 10.30am                                                                                                                 Introducing Eco Smart and Education Sustainability (Efs) - Deb Watson and Julie Gaul. Sustainable practices in early childhood empowers children and adults to think and act in ways that meet their immediate needs without jeopardizing the potential of future generations to meet their own needs. Julie Gaul and Deb Watson will collaborate to present this introductory session. Why Efs is critical at this time and how Early Education for Efs (EEEfs) can support educators, children and families to create a sustainable community.

11.00am - 12.30pm - concurrent sessions -  PARTICPANTS CHOOSE:                                  Green Cleaning in Early Learning Settings-Sharon Gilhooly (Waverley Family Day Care)During this workshop we will consider our roles as advocates for both young children's gut health and for the Planet. Considering the options and alternatives to heavy chemical-based cleaning products in Early Learning Services with practical ways of minimizing and in some cases eliminating chemically based cleaning products.                                                                               This will be a very hands-on workshop and we will make up some of our naturally based cleaning recipes.                                                                                                                                            OR                                                                                                                                            Human-animal becomings in early childhood education - Tracy Young (Tracy Young Consulting)                                                                                                                                       As we become increasingly aware of diminishing resources and habitats that impact the health and wellbeing of all earth dwellers, there is a crucial need to comprehend how humans are enmeshed in social, cultural and environmental relations with (and as) animals. Tracy  will draw on years of teaching and research, including recent doctoral studies, to grapple with the contradictions of how animals are socially constructed and positioned in early childhood education. Firstly, we explore how practices with animals in ECE are ethically troubling. Tracy then traces how practices commodify animals who become appointed as pedagogical aids to teach children about biology, relationships and how to be a good human. The workshop then moves to imagine what these human-animal relatings could look like and how educators and families could energise new becomings that ethically challenge hierarchal relations, by (re)making ways of living with ecological justice.

1.00pm - 2.30pm - concurrent sessions - PARTICIPANTS CHOOSE:                                            Food for a thriving people and planet- Alexx Stuart (Low Tox Life)                                         Alexx will take you through the universally harmful enemies in our food system today, how to identify and replace them proactively and without having to break the budget. This session includes ideas on managing the transition towards being a "Real Food" purveyor for the families you provide for each day - including how to empower children to be part of the conversation, easy pantry and produce swaps, ways  to be frugal in some areas so that you can afford to spend in others and the practicality of serving the child of 2018 with allergies, fussy eating and parent pressures.                                                                                                                                         OR                                                                                                                                       RePurpose For Good: Robotic Empowerment and STEAM for Every Body - Cyn Colli             Cyn is an industrial and digital designer and project manager, who early on in her industrial design career, could see just how useful or destructive, product design  can be.                                     She designs ideas and system instead of 'stuff' and when she does work on products, they are useful to humanity and the planet, such as "Repurpose for Good", a STEAM project to use waste plastic to manufacture cheap robotic prosthetic limbs for those in need.                                     With a multidisciplinary team consisting of engineers, scientists, marketers and academics, Cyn was pivotal in launching the project and getting worldwide attention, even pitching the project with team member Sara Rickards, to the Prince of Wales!                                                             Through word and design, Cyn works on making the world a better place - trash free, pollution free and cruelty free.

NESA Statement                                                                                                                            Completing Sustaining our Place: Living Eco Smart in the Early Year will contribute 4 hours of NESA registered PD addressing 2.1.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

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