6 science strategies for early learners

By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor, @eSN_Laura
April 1st, 2014

Young learners should have plentiful access to science opportunities

science-learnersScience, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills are regularly emphasized as critical to student success, but less attention is paid to STEM skills for early learners.

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), in a statement and recommendations concerning children from ages 3 through preschool, notes that research indicates young children are able to construct conceptual learning and use reasoning and inquiry at even young ages.

In fact, many adults, including educators, underestimate children’s ability to learn core science ideas an dpractices in early years, and thus they tend to not give them opportunities to learn science skills and build science understanding.

(Next page: Science recommendations for early learners)

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3 Responses to “6 science strategies for early learners”

April 1, 2014

I find it strange that an article on how to engage early learners does not mention the word “parent” or “family” anywhere in its text.

    Laura Devaney
    April 1, 2014

    Thanks for your comment! If you follow the link to the full recommendations, you’ll find suggestions for parents and caregivers as well. This article highlights the suggestions most relevant to the eSN audience–the classroom and educator strategies.

April 1, 2014

Great story – thank you! Are you familiar with arts-integrated instruction? It’s an approach to teaching in which students make connections between the arts and other academic content. Young children easily connect topics in science to creative movement/dance. An example would be to invite preschoolers to explore a selection of different materials (bricks, silk fabric, foam cubes, etc) and then express their observations about weight, flexibility, and density by moving their bodies in ways that demonstrate their understanding of their observations. All observations and movement choices are collected and compared. The learning experience would culminate in selecting the strongest ideas to use for storyboarding and building a dance. Movement, music, and the imagination are the natural languages of learning for the young child – even when they study STEM subjects!