ERIC Number: ED440756
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Language Development and Science Inquiry: A Child-Initiated and Teacher-Facilitated Program.
Klein, Evelyn R.; Hammrich, Penny L.; Bloom, Stefanie; Ragins, Anika
The Head Start on Science and Communication Program (HSSC) is a model that fosters science learning for young children through a systematic approach to language development. The HSSC program emphasizes the development of language skills through an explicit teacher-directed and exploratory child-centered approach to acquiring science knowledge and is based on the American Association for the Advancement of Science Benchmarks, developmentally appropriate practices, and cognitive-linguistic concepts for classroom communication. Participants in Phase 1 of the project represented 12 Head Start classrooms in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and included teachers, classroom assistants, and parents. Phase 1 included a summer institute for interactive inquiry-based training, ongoing technical assistance and support for program implementation, and extending implementation to community-based science-rich centers. Evaluation data were collected by means of surveys, on-site observations, and interviews. Phase 1 findings indicated that classroom assistants gave away substantially more answers to students than did teachers and parents, who encouraged more problem solving through questioning. Following the training, eight classrooms were observed to engage in small-group problem-solving teams with verbal interactions among teachers and students. Three classes had a combination of collaborative and competitive activities, and one class remained predominately competitive. Following program implementation, participants indicated that they changed their classroom focus to one primarily inquiry-based. Phase 2 of the project involved further implementation with Cohort 1, refinement of program materials to include 30 science experiments and a manual, and expansion to kindergarten through second grade. (Contains 30 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Early Childhood Education, Elementary School Curriculum, Hands on Science, Inquiry, Parent Participation, Preschool Curriculum, Program Descriptions, Program Evaluation, Questioning Techniques, Science Education, Scientific Concepts, Student Centered Curriculum, Teacher Guidance, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Young Children
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).