ESD AND INDIGENOUS CULTURE– TARGETING EARLY EDUCATION JAPANESE METHODS WITH TRANSFER POTENTIAL
Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences (JAPAN)
The close of the decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) has initiated the Global Action Program (GAP) decade, during which methodologies capable of effectively implementing long-term ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) policy goals are of particular interest to educators. Scholars of early education have noted the importance of teaching children values that encourage sustainable development thinking. The Japanese Ministry of Education, too, supports the idea of ESD in its policy guidelines but has not suggested any prescriptive measures that would make it part of the official curriculum. However, as preschool education is not compulsory, Japanese preschools have leeway to create their own curriculums, making them useful laboratories for innovation in educational methodologies.
This study focuses on preschool methodologies from indigenous sources that have the potential for successful transfer to other cultural settings. Moreover, it attempts to address the question of whether the methodologies can be employed for explicitly ESD purposes within the indigenous setting itself before any attempt is made to use them as models for further adaptation and adoption outside the indigenous culture.