Topics in Early Childhood Education

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Science of Discovery


Recently, we were talking in one of my university classes about creativity in science. Our discussion led to how important it is to help a child 'discover' or learn about the world around her. In fact, in this age of technology and electronic gadgets, I think that many people fail to observe what is happening to the Earth around them. It usually takes something devastating, like the earthquake/tsunami in Japan, to bring people back to the reality of how our world functions. Providing science discovery activities in the classroom can help the child understand when events like this do happen.

To me, the biggest reason to provide great science discovery is to help the child enjoy and notice the beauties of the world. I think this discovery leads to more respectful citizens who value the earth and perhaps will be more inclined to care for our precious environment and resources. I also think that teachers who 'don't have time to teach science,' don't understand how science reinforces reading and math and science activities can be used just as effectively as activities we usually label math and reading. When I have children sort and classify seashells or leaves in the science center, they are using skills that will help them sort mathematical items and letters of the alphabet. All the world can work together if we just give it a chance.

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14 Comments:

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with this post. Many people don't like science in general, so they don't want to include it in the classroom. I know a lot of my teachers left it to the 'science' teacher to teach science, rather than integrating it with our curriculum. Science is my favorite subject, I know I definitely plan on integrating it into my class.

Victoria L.
FCS 5170

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that discussing science in the classroom is a very important thing. I think by taking that opportunity away from your children before even trying is robbing them of a valuable lesson that will help their other schooling. There are any benefits, and you never know which child you will be helping by opening their imagination and helping them grow.

Katelyn H. FCS 5170

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Mallory said...

Like the others I agree with this post and the importance of science in the classroom and especially for early childhood classrooms. Our society is becoming more and more dependent on technology and the benefits of it, that at times it is easy to forget where we come from and what we're apart of. We need early childhood teachers who value science and are excited to teach the students in their classroom the importance of it. Go Science!

Mallory D.
FCS 5170

 
At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly agree that science activities are necessary and important in the children's life. Children should be aware of the diverse elements that surround them and we, as adults, have the responsibility to guide them through this process of discovery and also provide them with opportunities to explore.
I also think that many people forget that science activities will not only feed children’s curiosity but that will also promote their creativity. Research is a corner stone in science and good researchers are always creative people.

Elizabeth R.
FCS 5170

 
At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the most beautiful things about young children are their natural curiosity and the extreme passion they exude when something becomes important to them. If nurtured this curiosity is capable of creating amazing adults. Creative science exploration is one of the best ways to develop positive, life changing interests in our children. While driving around on Easter Sunday, my four-year-old daughter noticed an abundant amount of liter in a bare parking lot. This upset her, but it opened the door for a teachable moment. After our conversation, she came home and created a recycling center of her own so we can save the earth. If all children are given this opportunity to be divergent thinkers and explore science, the sky becomes their limit and the world just may become a better place!

Stephanie M.
FCS 5170

 
At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to first just state that I loved the lecture on creativity in science btw, very educational and I took a lot from it.
I agree and understand how important it really is for children to understand whats going on in the world around them, especially when it comes to the environment. I work at the boys and girls club and each summer we build a garden and I also set up "eco detective" activities. It started out with me reading the children the book "the Lorax" and we had a discussion about it and talked about what people are doing right now that hurts our planet. We then discussed ways to save the planet and what each individual can do to help. Then the detective part just sort of happened, I dress up in a detective outfit and we go on these little scavenger hunts that lead us to discovering something about our beautiful planet. We also sometimes recycle, make paper or do other "green" activities that help the community. I've noticed that the kids really are concerned about the planet and their future and its up to use as educators to teach them ways to save the planet so they can have a sustainable livable future. This may all sound negative, but I teach it all in a hopeful way and they all really have a fun time learning about science, nature and the environment.
I'm also the youth coordinator for a non profit environmental group called peaceful ( uprising,http://www.peacefuluprising.org/ ) and my main job is to figure out ways to reach our youth because it's their future thats at risk. I've worked closely with activist Tim DeChristopher (Hi story: http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-22-tim-de-christopher-utahs-auction-hero-goes-to-trial-february-28t ) While working on a huge event before Tim's trial, I of course was in charge of the free day care we offered, I made a coloring book that explained Tim's story in a fun and easy way. (If you want the coloring book Prof. Funk you're welcome to it.) and this fun and new coloring book provided entertainment through creativity and also taught them about how fragile our planet really it.
When it comes to natural disasters like the recent earth quake and tsunami, I've found that its important to talk to kids about it because they may be confused and scared. I start out by asking them what they know and what they think they know about said natural disaster and then correct any ideas they may have that aren't entirely true. I then talk to them about their fears and concerns about it and try and comfort and extinguish as many fears as I can. Science is something that should always be taught, no exceptions.
Hillary H.
u0282022
FCS 5170

 
At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with what Professor Funk said in his blog. Science can be an exciting and fun experience for children. It would be better if teachers did more hands learning. When scary things happen like in Japan they need teachers to help them underderstand. How do you help a child understand because you can not tell a child we will never have a earth quake here and they are totally safe? The world is a scary place. Just watch "Savage Planet" on PBS and you really get scared. It really scared me and I am 35. When I was in school my teachers had us read science out of a text book instead of doing hands on experiments. For me it would have been better if I could have done things hands on instead of just reading about it.

Lynell H. FCS 5170

 
At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree. There are so many aspects of learning that link together and without one of them, a child does not learn to the same extent. Each aspect is so critical to pay attention to. You never know what is going to help the child progress the most which is why science, math, music, art, and every other subject need to be taught and linked together in some way. I feel like kids especially love science. They have incredible imagination and capabilities that they are not always given enough credit for. They love to explore their world and they had the desire to learn all that they can. They want to manipulate objects and know why certain things happen. It seems that a lot of people think of all the complicated science functions when the subject comes up but really it is so much more than that and it is easy for individuals to loose sight of that in the times we live in now. Allowing children to learn about their environment and gain a greater appreciation and love for all aspects of science is definately critical and like previously mentioned, it does integrate into other subjects.

Nalene Weight
FCS 5170-001

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Lindsay Thomas fcs 5170 said...

I also agree. I definitely agree that teaching science is so important to young children, they learn and develop so much through observing and finding things in science. It can be so easy but most people don't realize it. Depriving kids of this isn't fair and most people are just neglecting science because they think it always has to be some big project and they don't like science. Finding small ways to integrate science in the class room is so important for young children and it shouldn't be neglected.

Lindsay Thomas
FCS 5170

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger breanne said...

I agree completely with your post. I think it is so sad how dependent our society is becoming on technology, especially the children. I never liked science in elementary because my teachers didn't like it either. I could tell the teachers were teaching this subject only because they had to. They could have used several different ways to make science fun and interesting, like you were saying. Integrating math, art, or music are just a few of the ways teachers can get kids more interested in science.

Breanne S.
FCS 5170

 
At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son has been fascinated by science since he was 3 or 4 years old. He is now 8 and his school has only touched science topics once or twice each year. It disappoints me that teachers avoid it. Not only is it a topic that can be linked with reading, math and so many other core standards, but it's so FUN! Kids love discovering the world around them. They can touch it, play with it, watch things explode! What kid doesn't like that!?!
Kristin J.
5170

 
At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think promoting science in the classroom is very important. It shouldn't be that big of deal if the curriculum is integrated throughout the day. Slipping in some science with math or art is a great way to reinforce important concepts.
Natalie M. FCS5170

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

creativity is so important to motivate kids in science. To get them interested in the world around them. LaurieP FCS 5170

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger Nelson said...

I 100% agree with the previous posts. I believe that science is extremely important for children to learn and grow. I remember as a young child in elementary having one teacher in particular who was a big advocate for science. He often taught us about plants and the great out doors. Looking back I feel I learned more in that class about the importance of the earth then in any other class, and it has stuck with me throughout my life. I now LOVE plants. Over the summer I work at a plant nursery and look forward to it every year. It if fascinating to me how different plants grow and where they come from. I believe this fascination began because of this teacher and his love for plants which he passed on to his students.

Betty N.
FCS 5170

 

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