Student Authors, Children’s Literature and Early Childhood Education

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Student Authors, Children’s Literature and Early Childhood Education for Sustainability: Findings from a Pedagogic Research Project

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The focus on early childhood education for sustainability within children’s literature is part of a mindful shift towards a more critical praxis with young children, families, communities and students in higher education. This presentation reports on pedagogic research undertaken as part of a first-year module on an undergraduate Early Childhood Studies degree programme at Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom. The research involved the creation of children’s literature (e-books) by students using Book Creator, focussed on one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals. The overarching aim of the project on which this presentation is based was to explore how the process of creating children’s literature to facilitate early childhood education for sustainability supports students to engage in cultural production.

Dr Nicky Hirst and Dr Catherine Wilkinson present analysis of the students’ e-books and their supporting rationales for the creation of their storybook. The findings from this study contribute to discussions of eco-literacies, critical pedagogies and students as change agents.

Keywords: children’s books; children’s literature; early childhood; pedagogic research; sustainable development goals; sustainability

Speakers' Short Bio

Nicky Hirst is a Subject Head for Education and Early Childhood Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. Nicky's research interests have been framed within the context of Education for Sustainability, Eco literacies and Critical pedagogies. Nicky has been a member of an international multi university initiative, The Transnational Dialogues in Research in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (TND) since 2016 and this group has afforded many opportunities to research in this area and embed critical explorations of sustainability principles within the Early Childhood Studies degree. Nicky has written extensively in this area with a number of co-authored books and a co authored framework for sustainability and her sole authored research which is used to enhance teaching in Higher Education.

She recently used a sustainability lens for a recent contribution to the 4th Edition of the Early Years Foundation Stage edited by Ioanna Palaiologou and published by SAGE in March 2021.

Catherine Wilkinson is a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. Catherine’s primary research interests are: children, young people and identity; young people and community radio; and children and young people-friendly research methods. Catherine works at the intersection of a range of research approaches, including: mixed methods, ethnographic and participatory research. Catherine has an established reputation for making cutting-edge contributions, conceptually and methodologically, to research ‘with’ children and young people and uses this research to inspire teaching she delivers. She recently co-edited a handbook Creative Methods for Human Geographers, published by SAGE.


We will email you the Zoom link details before the event when you register. Please invite your friends and colleagues and join our conversation.

Learn more about our research group, Sustainability and Social Justice here. It sits within the Centre for Educational Research (CERES) at Liverpool John Moore University, Liverpool, UK.

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