ERIC Number: ED416993
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Feb
Educating Young Children in Math, Science, and Technology.
This paper asserts that any intellectually responsible program to instruct young children in math, science, and technology must overcome at least three seemingly insurmountable obstacles: (1) adults' inability to discover, either by reflection or analysis, the means by which children acquire science and technology concepts; (2) the fact that young children think differently from adults and do not organize their world along the same lines as do older children and adults; and (3) the fact that young children have their own curriculum priorities and construct their own math, science, and technology concepts which while age appropriate, may appear wrong from an adult perspective. After considering each of these obstacles, the paper offers suggestions as to how they can be best overcome: (1) the importance of observing young children's learning in order to make instructional decisions that truly reflect children's learning needs and processes; (2) the need to recognize the limits of instruction--for example, young children think transductively, and this limits the possibility of teaching abstract concepts; and (3) the value of employing capacity-linked and socially derived motivation, engaging the spontaneous learning motivation children experience as their cognitive capacity increases. Instilling social motivation by involving parents in ways that encourage their modeling of reading, question asking, and knowledge gathering are also crucial. (EV)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Forum on Early Childhood Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (Washington, DC, February 6-8, 1998).