Early childhood science education gets a boost up from NAEYC’s endorsement of the NSTA position statement

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has endorsed the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) new position statement on Early Childhood Science Education. Thank you to all the individuals who brought these two professional organizations together to promote excellence in teaching science in early childhood! To get a deeper understanding of how the position statement can benefit your teaching, listen to the Lab Out Loud! podcast interview with early childhood educator and researcher Karen Worth, and read Cindy Hoisington’s column in the online Young Children, “On Our Minds: Promoting Teaching About Science in the Early Years.”
NAEYC online column, On Our Minds
The column begins with a peek into the thoughts of a preschool teacher and goes on to describe the development of the NSTA position statement. Hoisington writes, “The statement also incorporates an appreciation for the unique developmental characteristics and needs of young children. The statement emphasizes that children need frequent and varied opportunities to engage in exploration and discovery and that they develop an understanding of concepts through experiential learning that occurs over long periods of time and in home, classroom, and community settings. At the same time, the statement invites teachers to reflect on how they might extend the science activities they currently do to include more opportunities for exploration and discovery.”
Join the NAEYC’S Early Childhood Science Interest Forum (ECSIF), communicate with others on the ECSIF Facebook page and read more on the ECSIF blog.
To participate (or lurk) in another early childhood science education online community, register for the NSTA Learning Center and read/post/reply to the posts on the Early Childhood public forum. Helpful comments share resources and questions. For a supportive early childhood science education community, join NSTA and sign up for the early childhood email listserv at http://www.nsta.org/membership/listserver.aspx
Since I’m urging you to share your practice with other early childhood teachers, it’s only fair that I do the same. In the past month I’ve worked with teachers and children to examine and make observations of the common dandelion plants; make observations of leaf shapes; helped children plant seeds and watched pharmacists explain how drinking a liquid with pills will help the pills dissolve (USA Festival of Science & Engineering); and worked with second-graders as they designed, built and tested moving objects on ramp structures. Very satisfying work!

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3 Responses to Early childhood science education gets a boost up from NAEYC’s endorsement of the NSTA position statement

  1. The NAEYC endorsement of the NSTA position statement is an exciting moment in early childhood science education. Thank you to all who worked so long and hard to bring us to this point.
    It’s fun to read about what science you’ve been exploring with children, Peggy.

  2. Melissa Purich says:

    I am so thrilled to see that Early Childhood Education will now involve science thanks to the NAEYC endorsement. I believe that science is an important aspect to a child’s learning. The earlier they are exposed to it the better results they will have when they reach higher levels of education. Anyone who has young children, or who has worked with young children knows that a child has a huge imagination, loves to explore things with their hands, and loves to ask those who, what, when, where, and why questions. When students are involved in science at a young age, we as teachers will have the opportunity to allow them to use their imagination through creativity, explore hands on activities, and answer some of the questions that these students are inquiring about. In addition to those things mentioned above students will begin to be able to solve problems, which is essential for their learning. Overall, I believe if students are exposed to science at a young age they will have a better chance of developing an interest in the subject. Sometimes in the upper grade levels students are so overwhelmed with other subjects that science gets pushed to the side, and students are not as interested in it as they would be if they had a chance to experience it at a younger age.

  3. Peggy Ashbrook says:

    Yes Melissa, isn’t it wonderful when our professional organizations learn from each other and work together to support us!? I hope you, and all the early childhood educators who advocate for involving their students in science investigation, will become members of both NSTA and NAEYC, and join the NAEYC Early Childhood Science Interest Forum.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and passion.

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