Draft Early Childhood Science Education Position Statement—comment please!

Children exploring the properties of water.When children compare a wet cloth to a dry cloth, is this teaching a science concept? What role do adults have in preschool science learning? Should teachers discuss science facts with preschoolers or only engage them in hands-on experiences? You may have many more questions about science education for three to five year olds. Read the draft of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Early Childhood Science Position Statement and see if you find some answers.

The NSTA has developed a position statement endorsing the learning of science among young children, particularly those ages 3 through preschool. It states that all children have the capacity and propensity to observe, explore, and discover the world around them and that these basic abilities for science learning can and should be encouraged and supported among children in the earliest years of their lives. The statement also identifies key principles to guide the learning of science among young children.

The position statement was developed by a panel of science teachers and experts in early childhood science education and was approved by the NSTA Board of Directors. NSTA members are invited to review and comment on this important statement before it is adopted. Read the draft statement here and submit your comments. Deadline for feedback is Friday, December 20.

I am delighted to have key principals about science learning by this age group stated for me to reflect on, and apply to my science teaching. You are the expert about your class—will the guidance provided by the NSTA Early Childhood Science Position Statement support your teaching? “NSTA supports the learning of science among young children that will create a seamless transition for learning in elementary school.” The goal of seamless transition to elementary school learning will help early childhood teachers in preschools and early childhood teachers in grades K-2 connect for the benefit of all children.

Read the Early Childhood Science Education Position Statement and then make a statement about it by submitting a comment to NSTA (here) or on this blog as a comment.

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One Comment

  1. Peggy Ashbrook
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    It is heartening to have a position statement that reflects what I have observed in my teaching practice—“At an early age, all children have the capacity and propensity to observe, explore, and discover the world around them (NRC 2012). These are basic abilities for science learning that can and should be encouraged and supported among children in the earliest years of their lives. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) affirms that learning science and engineering practices in the early years can foster children’s curiosity and enjoyment in exploring the world around them and lay the foundation for a progression of science learning in K–12 settings and throughout their entire lives.”

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