Tag Archives: inquiry

Changes in How We See Scientific Inquiry

Ask 20 teachers what scientific inquiry is and it’s possible you’ll receive 20 different answers. From a series of proscribed steps to a lab-based free-for-all, conceptions have shifted over time. In the National Research Council’s (NRC) 1996 National Science Education Standards (NSES), inquiry held a prominent position as its own content area, but the term […]

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The Power of Children’s Ideas: Thoughts about Science Learning and Teaching in the Early Years

Guest post by Cindy Hoisington, with thanks to Karen Worth and other dear colleagues for their inspiration Welcome guest blogger Cindy Hoisington, an early childhood science educator at Education Development Center Inc. (EDC) in Waltham, Massachusetts. A preschool teacher for many years, Cindy now works with early childhood teachers, coaches, and administrators in various settings to […]

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Water play…exploration…science inquiry

Water explorations are a popular in early childhood programs during the summer. Exuberant water explorations can happen outdoors. The experience of wetness is enjoyable and clothes that get wet accidentally can dry on the child rather than having to be changed. Natural materials such as leaves and twigs can be incorporated into the exploration. To […]

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Sound inquiry–open exploration and direct teaching?

As early childhood educators, no matter what program we teach in or administer, we want to help children build knowledge of the world through experiences, teacher-supported investigations, and direct teaching. A conversation I had recently with a teacher made me think about how we balance direct teaching with open exploration: Teacher: So, as I thought […]

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Studying Science at the Zoo

Schools around the country are partnering with their local zoos to establish “zoo schools,” or classrooms at the zoo that enable teachers to incorporate zoo resources into their lessons.

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“Knowledge” — how to use the term to illustrate the “doing” of science 

“Knowledge” has several meanings for its use with student learning! A definition of “Knowledge” is traditionally considered information to help reform science education.  It refers to information that can be used to indicate what others have learned.    A search of five dictionaries has yielded several examples of the meaning for the term “Knowledge.” Some […]

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Becoming familiar with leaves

A photo shared with a social media group—leaves bound to a stick to create a paintbrush—raised memories of children engaging with leaves in many ways. Thank you to Gill Robertson of Teddy Bear Day Care in Manitoba for sharing this interesting way to explore leaves. Using leaves in art activities is a way to draw children’s […]

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Misconceptions about the “doing” of science

Many teachers feel they are “doing” science when they teach what is in textbooks, laboratory manuals, and their lectures.  Such a focus on science teaching has existed for decades.  Teachers, school administrators, students, as well as parents, have generally accepted it as “doing” science.  But, expecting students to remember and recite what they have read […]

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Differences between “Inquiry” and “Practices”

“Inquiry” and “practices” are recognized actions in science teaching that are used in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  “Inquiry” was a term which was central to many science education reform efforts–certainly those indicated in the “old” 1996 National Science Education Standards (NSES).  In 1991 the NSTA President asked the National Research Council (NRC) to […]

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Following children’s interests–following a caterpillar over winter

It’s always interesting to hear how other early childhood educators make the most of children’s curiosity to teach science concepts. Guest blogger Maggie Posey is a mom to a curious two year old and preschool teacher to eight eager learners. She blogs about both athttp://www.mamasuerte.blogspot.com. In this guest post she writes about how her preschool students’ […]

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