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ERIC Number: EJ868220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Toddlers' Scientific Explorations: Encounters with Insects
Shaffer, Lauren Foster; Hall, Ellen; Lynch, Mary
Young Children, v64 n6 p18-23 Nov 2009
This article features Boulder Journey School, located in Boulder, Colorado, a full-day, year-round school that welcomes over 200 young children, ages 6 weeks to 6 years, and their families. The school community is committed to a culture based on children as curious and competent individuals capable of coconstructing knowledge. In Boulder Journey School, early childhood educators acknowledge and support children to begin a new process of science inquiry--observing, asking questions, forming hypotheses, investigating, gathering data, drawing conclusions, and building ideas that lead to new questions into the lives of insects, spiders, and related creatures. Copple and Bredekamp (2009) note that "children are active constructors of their own understanding of the world around them," and "developmentally appropriate teaching practices provide an optimal balance of adult-guided and child-guided experiences" (2009, 17). David Hawkins refers to this type of scientific methodology as "messing about." Hawkins describes three critical phases of messing about, which comprise a model for creating and maintaining an optimal balance between adult-guided and child-guided learning. The authors discuss these three phases of messing about: (1) extremely child guided; (2) child guided, adult supported; and (3) either adult guided or child guided. Strategies used to encourage children in their explorations are presented.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado