University Of Tasmania

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Skills 4 Kids Cafes: working to support SDG 4 through delivering early childhood educator professional learning in partnership with community

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 12:50 authored by Kim BeasyKim Beasy, Sherridan EmerySherridan Emery, Diane NailonDiane Nailon, Boyd, D
Skills 4 Kids (S4K) Cafes is a program of intergenerational community skill-sharing events that offers a form of professional learning for early childhood educators to connect with SDG 4 Quality Education. The S4K model is an alternative 'side by side' approach to supporting educators to develop their pedagogical practice in the community, while working alongside children in their care. A mixed methods study was conducted with S4K Cafe participants employing questionnaires, guided conversations and field notes taken by researcher-participants. In this paper, we explore how the program bridged formal and in-formal learning for adults, prioritised community connections and capacity building, and promoted lifelong learning for all participants. We illustrate how participation in S4K Cafes addressed the aims of SDG 4, specifically Target 4.7 and Indicator 4.7.1 (ii) c which broadly relate to the provision of education for sustainable development and quality early childhood education. Findings of the study suggest that the communities-based approach of the S4K Cafes contributed toward SDG 4 aims through supporting lifelong learning for both community members and educators, forming an interactional space for contributing to a shared culture (Target 4.7), and contributing to educators' practice development (Indicator 4.7.1 (ii) c). The Cafes were found to challenge conceptions of how learning occurs by bringing community members of all ages and backgrounds (professional and non-professional) to participate and learn together. They also challenged epistemological assumptions regarding who can teach and what constitutes sustainability. Through reconstituting whose knowledge was valued, the Cafes formed their own culture, where all were recognised as contributors.


Launceston City Council


Publication title

International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education








Faculty of Education


North American Association for Environmental Education

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

© North American Association for Environmental Education

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Early childhood education; Professional development and adult education