Science typically taught during the preschool years

Science content typically taught during the preschool years can be divided into 6 general categories.

  1. Life Science
    Plants, our bodies, animals, other inter-relationships with each other, etc…
  2. Earth Science
    Solar system, nature, rocks, water, shadows, weather, etc…
  3. Physical Science
    Magnets, light, reflections, motion, sound, energy, etc…
  4. Technology & Tools
  5. Chemical Science
  6. Environment Science

Science concepts typically taught during the preschool years :

  1. Systems
    Groups, collections having some influence on one another (e.g.: : parts of the human body, the ecosystem)
  2. Models
    Representations of real objects, phenomenon
  3. Constancy and Change
    How things change over time
  4. Scale
    Focusing on characteristics and comparisons
  5. Patterns & Relationships
    Structure and organization of matter (e.g. : properties of materials, alike & different)
  6. Cause & Effect
    Explanation for phenomena (e.g. : shadows, gravity, freezing, melting, etc…)
  7. Structure & Function
    Relationship between characteristics and action (e.g. : makeup of plants, animals, tools, etc…)
  8. Variations
    Discontinuous and continuous properties (e.g. : sounds, colours, etc…)
  9. Diversity
    Variety of types (e.g. : seeds, leafs, living organisms, etc…)

The teacher’s role in helping children make conceptual changes in their understanding, is to accept children’s responses without any right or wrong answers. Children respond based on their prior experiences, perceptions, and how they combine new and old information. As teachers, we have to help children construction these information.

Science is about valuing children’s thinking, a teacher should use higher level of questioning by giving time to the children to investigate & explore possible answers to questions that may arise.

How can we encourage children to think at a higher level?

By using open ended questions, with longer waiting time, fosters children’s believes that their own belief is important. Resist the temptation to offer words and wisdom. Allow children to work through the processes of scientific undertaking by themselves.

12 processes of scientific undertaking

  • Observing
  • Predicting
  • Experimenting
  • Interpreting Data
  • Measuring
  • Communicating
  • Inferring
  • Classifying
  • Identifying and Control Variables
  • Constructing models
  • Formulating and Testing Hypotheses
  • Defining Operations

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