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10.6: Conclusion

  • Page ID
    39384
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    Young children have a sense of wonder and a natural curiosity about objects and events in their world. Through exploratory play and experimentation with objects and materials, they discover how to make their car go downhill faster or how to control the movement and flow of water. They are excited to find out what’s inside a pumpkin, how trees change over the year, how the rain feels and smells, and why pill bugs curl into a ball. The preschool environment nurtures children’s innate or natural dispositions to observe and seek information and guides their curiosity into opportunities to observe, explore, and inquire about objects and phenomena in their environment. Teachers provide children with a purposefully planned, play-based, supportive environment that expands their explorations. Children’s explorations and guided investigations deepen children’s understanding of concepts in science and develop their attitudes, skills, and language of scientific inquiry.

    clipboard_e26e95999b0e022349f37a7a983814276.png
    Figure 10.7: Capturing documentation of the worm this child found while exploring outside.[1]

    While investigating concepts from physical, life, and earth sciences, teachers encourage children to ask questions, to observe and investigate, to predict and experiment with objects and materials, to draw conclusions, to document their work, and to share their observations and ideas with others. Such experiences not only develop children’s scientific inquiry skills, but also provide the context for learning and developing their language (building vocabulary in English and in their home language), literacy, mathematics, and social skills. Science also offers a special avenue to include families in the curriculum and bridge the home and preschool cultures. Preschool science is inclusive and prepares children for the scientific skills and knowledge they encounter later in school. It fosters a joy of discovery, a positive approach to learning, and the development of skills and attitudes necessary for many areas of learning throughout life.[2]

    Pause to Reflect

    What aspects of the natural world are you curious about? How might that affect how you plan curriculum for science?

    References

    [1] Image by Seattle Parks is licensed by CC-BY-2.0

    [2] The California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Volume 3 by the California Department of Education is used with permission


    This page titled 10.6: Conclusion is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Jennifer Paris, Kristin Beeve, & Clint Springer.