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 Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>