Young children are scientists, and yet we do relatively little to foster this in our classrooms. Particularly in the area of physics, early childhood teachers are sometimes hesitant to provide activities and experiences in areas in which they may not feel comfortable or capable. While we provide opportunities for children to explore and experiment, what are we hoping they will learn? What are the scientific concepts underlying their exploration and play, and what are they capable of constructing?
Using the examples of playing with magnets and exploring the movement of objects, we will talk about what children can learn about science – both science content and processes – as well as what concepts are not clearly understood by teachers, and/or are beyond children's comprehension. What is it that early childhood teachers need to know about the science processes and the science content behind the physics activities that children engage in? How do teachers apply these ideas to their practice?
Date: 15 & 22 August 2020 (Saturday)