5 Essential Lessons Taught By Emphasizing Science in Early Education Programs
Families and educators often focus on filling a child’s day with meaningful activities that promote literacy and mathematics. However, today’s increasingly technological society demands for children to grow up with a love for science that enables them to attack problems by finding logical solutions. As you explore ways to boost your child’s experiences in science, make sure that their learning programs make early education science lessons a priority so that they gain the following skills and concepts.
Ask Questions About the World Around Them
Children are naturally curious about the world, and it is important for their teachers to encourage them to use their curiosity to find answers. For example, a child who is interested in dinosaurs may ask about what they ate, looked like and where they lived. With an adult’s guidance, the child can then participate in activities that help them find their answers such as reading books about dinosaurs, putting together a 3-D dinosaur skeleton or visiting a museum. Early education science lessons should always take into account what a child is interested in so that they will be motivated to ask the questions that lead them to scientific discoveries.
Record Observations to Track Changes
In early childhood programs, charts are used to help children organize new information in their brains. Using graphic organizers such as Venn diagrams helps children learn how to make comparisons between different objects. It is these types of observational experiences that they teach them the skills they will need later on as they gain a deeper understanding of science. In the classroom, you may notice a child tracking the changes each week as a bean grows into a stalk. Alternatively, you may see your child draw a picture of what happens when they mix red water with blue coloring.
Use Tools To Make Observations
Scientists use a variety of methods to arrive at their conclusions. For a young child, using tools such as a magnifying glass provides an opportunity to view the world from another angle. For this reason, your child’s teacher will encourage early education science exploration by intentionally placing scientific tools within a child’s reach. Placing thermometers in the home center lets children learn about how people measure hot and cold. Alternatively, viewing leaves through a microscope allows children to learn that there is often more to an object than what can be seen with the naked eye. Since children love modeling adult behavior, they may even put on goggles, gloves and a lab coat to conduct their experiments.
Collaborate With Others While Problem Solving
Early childhood is an important time when children are forming social skills that are critical for their future success. This is why children often work in groups during early education science experiences. Together, they may brainstorm ideas about what they think will happen during a simple experiment such as putting a celery stalk into colored water. Then, they may all take turns checking for changes and recording their observations. Children may also work together to take care of a classroom pet or plant so that they can also collaborate on creative solutions for enhancing its health. As children work together, they may occasionally experience conflicts regarding their ideas or how to share in the project. This is used as another learning opportunity by the teacher who can then help guide the children through successful conflict resolutions strategies. Developing a collaborative mindset puts children one step ahead than their peers when it comes to tackling real life issues in the workplace as they mature into adulthood.
Develop Environmental Responsibility
Forming a sense of responsibility for taking care of one’s environment is another essential lesson taught in the early childhood classroom. During the course of making observations and asking questions, children develop a sense of respect for the beauty of nature. Knowing that their actions affect plants and animals in their world encourages them to do their part by cleaning up after themselves, conserving water and making sure that they don’t litter.
While it may just look like kids are playing when you peek into their classroom, the reality is that they are doing so much more. Early education science programs promote a deep respect for how the world works while instilling a sense of curiosity in children who learn how to use tools to find out the answers they seek. By making sure that your child’s early childhood program focuses on including a science component, you will set them on the right track for learning to work in an increasingly technologically-minded world.