Early Childhood Classroom: A Summary And Analysis

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Science is defined as ‘the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure of behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment’ by the Oxford dictionary (Oxford Dictionary 2015). As an early childhood practitioner, this makes me reflect on what exactly is science and how is it appropriate in the early childhood classroom. I understand that science means different things to different people. Some, like me, regard it as just facts that need to be memorised while others understand it as knowledge, concepts, principles, laws and theories. However, through this module I have come to realise that science is more than mere facts. It plays a crucial part in children’s early learning …show more content…
Thus, to me, I deem the teacher’s role to be very significant when it comes to children’s learning, especially in the science domain. According to Worth (2010) ‘children’s scientific inquiry is completely guided by the teacher’s explicit understanding of the important fundamental science concepts’. Therefore, the teacher needs to be fully updated on her knowledge of her children, of teaching and learning instruction and of pedagogical science knowledge. Likewise, in this case, the role I had as the teacher, encompassed many avenues. First and foremost, I had to develop an appropriate lesson plan and activity, set the environment and provide the resources in accordance to my children’s learning styles. Then follow the roles as a facilitator, observer, role model, peer and assessor. Vygotsky (1962) believed firmly that social interaction supported children’s scientific development. Thus, believing in this too, as a facilitator, I had to scaffold children’s behaviour and learning to encourage observation and exploration and to support interaction between them. Next, as an observer, I monitored children to motivate and encourage cooperation, collaboration and learning. In addition, I also had to be both a role model whom the children could imitate and a peer who was learning together with them. De Boo (2000) has supported the importance of asking …show more content…
According to Howe et al (2009), ‘science provides a way of making sense of the world or responding to those “why” questions... with an (sic) emphasis on evidence, on logic and on explanations that are rooted in physical properties’. It is believed that science skills equip children with essential skills and attitudes needed for life-long learning and help them make sense of the world. This is also evident in UNESCO’s (2015) article on Hands-on Science. It has cited that ‘the use of hands-on and inquiry-based activities develops team-working, critical thinking and problem-solving skills’. This can be similarly seen in Singapore’s Kindergarten Curriculum Framework where Discovery of the World has now been added as one of the six learning domains. However, a challenge we face right now is that the new knowledge about children’s cognitive capability is not largely being used to expand and deepen the science curriculum to include more in-depth and challenging experiences. Instead, there is an almost singular focus on learning basic skills of literacy, numeracy and social and emotional development. Sadly, this is also true in my own school. I hope this changes real soon as I agree to the reality that science, when viewed as a process of constructing understanding and developing ideas, is a natural focus in the early childhood program. As the

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