Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lack of combined approach to play, childcare and learning in early childhood education

14.06.2011
When preschool children ask questions about science they risk being left in the lurch by their teachers. Learning seems to have less of a focus among preschool teachers, despite what is laid down in the preschool’s curriculum. These are the findings of a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

In her thesis, Susanne Thulin examines the way in which teachers and children communicate around science questions in early childhood education. Her study includes video observations of children and teachers at preschools working with a scientific subject within two themed areas, “Life in the tree stump”, and “How soil is formed”.

Her results indicate that children risk missing the scientific content. Children’s questions are often met with questions from the teachers. It is quite rare for the children to get answers or learn from the teacher’s knowledge and experience within the field in question. It is also the teacher who introduces the use of language, for example the anthropomorphic language in which animals are humanised.

Random explanations

“Children want to make sense of the world but they risk being left to come up with their own random explanations,” says Susanne Thulin. She has identified several possible reasons for the results.“Firstly it may be that the teachers are actually unable to answer the children’s questions. Secondly it could be down to the traditional, overriding view of the role of preschool in Sweden. This view places a heavier emphasis on childcare and play, as opposed to learning. According to this approach, teachers should not be prescriptive and tell children everything. Children are supposed to think for themselves and find things out on their own,” says Susanne Thulin.

Enhanced knowledge role

The role of preschools has changed. The first preschool curriculum appeared in 1998, giving preschools a more prominent role in the education system. The enhanced knowledge role of preschools has been further emphasised in the revised curriculum, which comes into effect on 1 July 2011. In the science subjects, specific content such as chemistry, physical phenomena and technology are now to be dealt with in the early childhood education environment, in addition to biology, ecology and the environment.

“But if we are to encourage children’s appetite for learning then teachers need to have the ability to create links between children’s everyday experiences, their everyday language on the one hand and scientific language and a scientific approach on the other. The content must stand out and be visible to the child. This means that the children ask questions, investigate to find out the answers and have the chance to discuss the results. This requires an inclination, courage and skill on the part of preschool teachers,” says Susanne Thulin.

The thesis has been developed within the framework of the National Research School of Childhood, Learning and Didactics (RSCLD).

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/25276

Further reports about: Collaborative Learning early childhood education

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Classroom in Stuttgart with Li-Fi of Fraunhofer HHI opened
03.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

nachricht Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>