The purpose of the paper is to discuss in-depth about Science learning during the early years that has been recognized as the vital critical domains in early childhood education. During the early childhood years, science is one of the critical domains that can allow the child to display his talent, showing the experimental skills and even learning with curiosity (Wastin, 2014). The children, through science-based learning, can develop scientific reasoning skills and even build on their knowledge-based skills. The children ability to question and even identify problems along with the solution can help to identify the set solution. By introducing the science, at an early age, the child can develop curiosity and even identify questions that can question know and how (Sullivan, 2019). As per the recent introduced studies, it has been identified that the science learning during the children’s kindergarten stages, helps in discovering the physical, social and biological changes that can be forecasted, interpreted and understood with the correct rationing and the evaluation methods (Lawrence, 2017). For example, by asking the five-year student to experiment such as using the clear water and then freezing it (showing it as an ice-solid form), then showing melting process through the ice melting into the liquid state (showing the solid to liquid process) and finally by boiling water and showing the steam generated after boiling water (liquid to gas state). Through the science-based leanings introduced during the early stages, a child can practically learn various things and answer their science learning (Rosicka, 2020).
The gaps identified when introducing science-based learning is to focus more on experimental learning and practical application, rather than identifying only the theoretical and factual based learning (Lawrence, 2017). For example, a child can question what brings the rain and how the clouds are formed. This question can be best answered through the evaporation process, but the entire theoretical knowledge would be difficult for the 3-5-year-old kindergarten student. The same can be shown through boiling of water and showing how the water is getting steam and collected over the plate left at a distant place (Hidayati, 2020). As the steam vapours touch the plate or the glass (which is cold), the water vapours change back to the liquid forms. The same can be taught about the rain cycle and the process. In defining the science education, the young children as per the report generated by the National Academy of Sciences identifies, how by focusing on the scientific exploration and inquiry rather than focusing on the facts and information. The reports indicate, that the engaging children can find it challenging for the scientific inquiry that can be factual based on the knowledge support and through the practical application for the school readiness. It is important to focus on mathematics, along with language and literacy. Through science-based learning, within the early childhood classrooms, it is important to follow the prediction planning, having a process to collect, and record data (Greenfield, 2020). It also involves an active experience, over the organizing experiences, identifying the set patterns and relationships which would eventually be involved in the new area spectrum and to relate with the new questions set records (Council of Australian Governments. 2009). The young children are not exposed to high-quality science experiences within the early childhood classroom are not well planned and experimental. Due to this, there is a wide gap between learning and understanding the content. The other gap areas are the early educators that often lack time, space, materials, and also in the content knowledge along with the confidence required in teaching science and methods. The lack of confidence leads to the inadequate experiences and it can lead to the childhood preserve and even facing the in-service professional development programs (Curran, 2017).
The changing focus is over the curriculum and bringing a change in the teaching strategy, such as identifying the state of the learning and even the non-living things. Understanding the questions at the ground level and exploring the ideas of the child based experiences with the conceptually based learnings and the behavior (Bustamante 2019). An educator can go to the ground level of teaching and understanding the child insights in the learning. It is important for the educator, to focus on content, knowledge and sharing the value-based learning’s. It would bridge the gaps identified in the learning. Some of the teachings should be formal and also scientifically correct. For example, using the sentence of the “The lizard is happy when it is sitting in the sun” can be changed to the more relevant example like “Lizard is sitting in the sun to get a warm feeling". The way science-based learning are introduced and the language is spoken when introducing the concept, the same would be reciprocated by the other children during the learning.
The term science has the impotent meaning derived in every day based scenarios, as the body language and the content of activities can bring a rise in the knowledge. The ‘science’ has been described as one of the knowledge body that can keep the activities engaging and be justified with the common form of the rise in experimental knowledge. The science-based learning during the early childhood between the (3 to 5 years) helps to question, arouse inquisitiveness and even help to progress into the decision making and questioning style. The scientifically-based learning can be based on the domain-specific knowledge along with experiencing the domain-general knowledge and having the set domain-general strategies. Through the domain-specific knowledge, the main focus is over the knowledge-based concept's variety and it is important to understand the learning’s that would be based on the different domains of the science concepts (Broström 2015). The domain-general knowledge identified the basic general skills to be learned in the experimental design and through the evidence-based evaluation. The skills that involve are the observing, asking questions, including the hypothesizing, aiming to build with the designing controlled experiments and to use the appropriate apparatus, measuring and even recording the data. It is important to represent the data, that draws meaning and even gets the set tables, graphs and with the value diagrams and through an interpretation of the data. The choosing set values, appropriate statistical tools and the set theories or the models, can help in deriving an appropriate based knowledge (Daryl et al, 2019). The division based leaning and the domain-based general knowledge and the domain-specific are the mirrors that can provide the analogues and the well-known distinction. For example, the conceptual based and procedural knowledge can identify the division based learning and derive the knowledge that to knowing how to. It is the division that is based on science and its kinds of knowledge that can embrace the two main justifications of the science teachers that can value aid and even derive the exposed scene. For the child, the first thing is to learn is the science in the real world and the second is the science to develop the reasoning skills (DEEWR, 2009). Greenfield (2017) has mentioned that the science-based statements can draw a meaning that can be conceptual and be based on the fair understanding of the scientific concepts. It is the domains children, can interpret and help to identify the world, we live in. Science with knowledge can help to understand the practice-based learning and doing the science, that can develop the general skills and to identify one specific scientific ones. The justification can be based on the science-based learning’s that can provide better knowledge, through the learning-based observation and with the critical reasoning and with the strength-based problem-solving skills (Curran, 2019).
Young children should be questioned about the how and the why questions and to derive the rational question approaches. It is important to wonder and to think and to introduce the key factors that can follow the inquiry skills to foster and develop during the early years. The first question to ask is the specific information, based on which the educators can support the children’s in their questioning and derive meaning (Greenfield, 2017). The important step is to wonder as to who will develop and to have the thinking based inquiry skills that can foster and to foster and to have he science-based investigation. Hidayati (2020) has mentioned that during the early years, the real challenge is to bend the young mind with the science-based experiments and to have the devised experiment and the evaluation plan. Through the questioning process and to modify the information based on the specific information, it is important for the child educators to bend with the stimulating further investigation. Lawrence (2017) has mentioned that the child early years with the scientific inquiry, can be done through the play-based materials and can help to question as to what and why. The informed questioning and the predicting analysis, can help to devise the explicit instructions and with the questioning mind. The educator’s role is to help them question the highlighting trends and to develop the patterns based science activities that can be used in everyday activities. It can be used in the painting, such as mixing two colours and seeing the third colour. Educator’s role in such inquisitive minds is to answer in the same questioning while to allow them to think and relate with the findings. The first step would be to encourage the students to encourage highlighting trends, observation and even make them question everyday life. O’Connor (2020) has asserted that the second is to identify the children bend of mind and having a pre-existing knowledge. For example, if the child is aware of the solar system and what are planets types. For this, the learning can be to make a child stand in centre to be Sun and the other eight children that would enact the other planets and rotate around the Sun. This would help the child lean the space concept, the planets and how each planet is positing from the Sun. The young children with experimental based learning can help to introduce new concepts in the learning-based activities in continuous terms.
Following questioning along with the predicting that would be ‘planning’ and ‘conducting’ that would be based on the experiments and investigations that can allow the young mind to question and even follow the questions. For example, taking the concept of the solvent and the solution can be taught through the experiments such as mixing salt and sugar with water or stones. Rosicka (2020) has mentioned the concept is difficult to absorb by the young minds at the age of the 3-5 years old. But they can learn to experiment such as putting stones in the water and seeing that the stones are not easily dissolved with the water. Then mix the two colours solvent and then check the solution compatibility. Through these experiments, the young mind can learn for a prolonged period. It would help to continue to experiment and learning in the same manner. All their answers would be logical and inquisitive ways of finding answers (Sullivan, 2019).
The research indicated for the AC (ACARA, Paper 2: Science inquiry skills 11 2016), that shows, that the introducing the science in the early years moulds the young minds, who know how to use the outcomes that can devise the planned based approaches with the guidance. It is not to introduce the science-based activities, experiments from the Grade 5 onwards, that is assumed to have an independent inquiry, but also to identify the kinder gardens students to have the same questioning phenomenon that can help to draw evidence-based reasoning and specifying the aspects. It is the real-world objects that can make the child grow and also identify the major aspects.
A teacher role is to acquire the teaching strategy and to know the content knowledge of how to educate the children in a better manner (Wastin, 2014). For example, a young mind would not know the “gravity” force or the “Newton 3rd law of the Action and Reaction”, but if the same is taught through the experiments such as throwing Apple and showing it is falling on the ground, or by pushing a door with a bang and feeling the same reaction, can be some experimental methods (Wastin, 2014). A child can find the theoretical based to be pretty difficult and can find it a challenge to follow. But with the practical and the experimental based learning’s, the teacher and the child can improve learning and increase the outcome for the long term.
Skills and Content Knowledge
Under the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program belonging to various states, it is important to design and experiment with the age groups under the different age group settings. It can help to develop the learning outcome through the questioning and classroom management strategies, and by educator increasing their Kindergarten children’s scientific inquiry and knowledge (Wastin, 2014).
The first goal would be to introduce the state of the education and to introduce the pre-service teacher that can hone skills and also challenge oneself (Wastin, 2014). The children and the teacher can have better experimental learning, that can help them flourish and the outcome can be measured in the successful children. The action plan would be to observe and videotape teaching about the experiments of the science for every topic and to practice, it is the classroom management skills. The feedback can help to improve and continue the learning,
The second action goal would be to make students more observant and also increase their knowledge based on the Kindergarten science lessons that would be centric to the hands-on scientific inquiry (Wastin, 2014). Science introduction with the curriculum can help to understand the reading science content books and by adding the language, vocabularies that can make the child correlate and remember it.
The third goal is to use the experiment based on real-life examples, which the children enjoy to do. For example, when introducing the new concept like "Electro Charging", the balloons can be taken and given to each child. They can be asked to rub belongs against their head and then let the charged balloon rest on the wall, this would help them to ember the static electricity concept and putting across their hand across the charged balloons they can feel the dinginess of some charged elements. This outcome can help to learn the long term.
It is concluded, that the science based learning’s should be introduced at the early years of learning. The children, through science-based learning, can develop scientific reasoning skills and even build on their knowledge-based skills. The children ability to question and even identify problems along with the solution can help to identify the set solution. This would help to bend the inquisitive mind into the finding appropriate answers and even relating with the problems. As per the recent introduced studies, it has been identified that the science learning during the children’s kindergarten stages, helps in discovering the physical, social and biological changes that can be forecasted, interpreted and understood with the correct rationing and the evaluation methods. During the early childhood years, science is one of the critical domains that can allow the child to display his talent, showing the experimental skills and even learning with curiosity.
Broström, Stig. (2015). Science in early childhood education. 10.13140/RG.2.1.3793.6081.
Bustamante, A. S., Greenfield, D. B., & Nayfeld, I. (2018). Early childhood science and engineering: Engaging platforms for fostering domain-general learning skills. Education Sciences, 8(3), 144.
Council of Australian Governments. (2009). Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.
Curran, F. C., & Kellogg, A. T. (2016). Understanding science achievement gaps by race/ethnicity and gender in kindergarten and first grade. Educational Researcher, 45(5), 273-282.
Daryl B. Greenfield, Jamie Jirout, Ximena Dominguez, Ariela Greenberg, Michelle Maier & Janna Fuccillo (2009) Science in the Preschool Classroom: A Programmatic Research Agenda to Improve Science Readiness, EARLY EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT, 20:2, 238-264, DOI: 10.1080/10409280802595441
DEEWR, E. (2009). Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (pp. c2009). Canberra: Dept. of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments.
Greenfield, D. B., Alexander, A., & Frechette, E. (2017). Unleashing the Power of Science in Early Childhood: A Foundation for High-Quality Interactions and Learning. Zero to Three, 37(5), 13-21.
Hidayati, A. (2020, March). The influence of learning science with a constructivist approach towards character building of early childhood. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 1481, No. 1, p. 012095). IOP Publishing.
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O’Connor, G., & Rosicka, C. (2020). Science in the early years. Paper 2: Science inquiry skills. Australian Council for Educational Research. https://research.acer.edu.au/early_childhood_misc/16
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Sullivan, A., & Bers, M. (2019). Computer science education in early childhood: the case of ScratchJr. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 18(1), 113-138.
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