Summer 2021      Volume 49, Number 3

Honoring Young Children’s Sense-Making: How Interdisciplinary Inquiry into Environmental Sustainability Can Support Children’s Learning and Civic Engagement
By Rebecca Woodard and Kristine M. Schutz

Document: Column

Introductory Paragraph:  Young children are profoundly curious about their natural and social worlds, and yet, too often in elementary schools, science and social studies instruction are pushed to the side in lieu of an emphasis on reading and math. Despite the resistance of many educational researchers and teachers to rhetoric around “learning loss,” we suspect that the national discourse around this “issue” will only heighten the focus in elementary schools on reading and math next year. In this third installment of our column, we explore how inquiry-driven instruction can support civic engagement and learning across disciplines—including those that are often pushed to the side in accountability contexts.  Situated in this column’s perspective that young children are sense-makers who are constantly witnessing and participating in language, texts, and the world (see Schutz & Woodard, 2019), we focus on fostering learning about environmental sustainability, which sits at the intersection of science and social studies, and necessitates the cultivation of both scientific and civic literacies.


Page Numbers:   50-56

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