ERIC Number: ED458983
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
I Want To Know...? Learning about Science.
Fleer, Marilyn; Cahill, Alita
AECA Research in Practice Series, v8 n1 2001
Noting that children's questions are usually complex and thereby provide a natural learning context for inquiry-based early childhood education, this booklet focuses on using children's scientific questions as a foundation for planning and creating a stimulating learning environment. Following an introduction, the booklet provides suggestions for supporting children's curiosity by encouraging them to ask questions in their daycare, preschool, or early elementary school environment. Sample child questions are listed with suggested ways for investigating the questions. Information on question-asking by adults includes suggestions for shaping queries to reflect genuine interest and using questions for different purposes. A case study related to children's questions about bees in the garden illustrates how authentic questions can be used as the basis for planning learning experiences, with each question paired with a learning experience to provide an answer. The use of children's questions for planning science educational experiences is explained within the context of an interactive approach to science instruction, growing out of research into children's understanding of a range of science concepts. The teacher's roles in the interactive approach are examined and include monitoring children's interests in the world, recording their ideas and questions, facilitating their investigations, and providing resources. The booklet concludes by noting that following up on children's questions provides them with the opportunity to experience the thrill of working like a real scientist, investigating what matters to them and what is directly related to their world. (Contains 16 resources.) (KB)
Descriptors: Childhood Interests, Curiosity, Early Childhood Education, Foreign Countries, Learning Activities, Questioning Techniques, Science Education, Science Instruction, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Young Children
Publications Section, Australian Early Childhood Association, P.O. Box 105. Watson, ACT 2602, Australia ($12.52 Australian). Tel: +(02)-6241-6900; Fax: +(02)-6241-5547; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aeca.org.au.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: Australian Early Childhood Association, Inc., Watson.
Note: Published quarterly. Theme issue.