KENYA PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION BY YOUNG CHILDREN
Keywords:environmental conservation, sustainability ethics, natural resources, environmental education
The study was done out of concern about global environmental degradation as a result of unsustainable use of available natural resources. It was based on the belief that environmental education (EE) enlightens an individual in terms of making informed decisions and responsible actions regarding utilization of the environment. More importantly, early childhood years are significant in imparting important values, attitudes and beliefs. An in-depth examination of a group of pre-school children was conducted through case study method using ex post facto design. The investigation was conducted through interviews and observation schedules for children aged 5-6 years, interview schedule and questionnaires for pre-school teachers, parents, school managers and curriculum developers and documentary analysis schedule. Findings indicated that the content, methods, learning/teaching activities and materials related to environmental conservation are not explicitly stated in the national pre-school syllabus. At the same time, teachers seem to lack innovativeness in terms of incorporating environmental conservation concepts in learning themes and activities. Consequently, children lack knowledge, skills and moral sense as well as a sustainable attitude regarding environmental conservation. There seemed to be no uniformity between activities done at home and those emphasized at school due to lack of collaboration between teachers and parents. Since pre-school children were not involved in local environmental issues means that they do not get the opportunity to understand their responsibilities as members of the community albeit in their own small way. The study recommends a review of the current pre-school curriculum and incorporation of appropriate concepts regarding environmental conservation and sustainable use of available natural resources.