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ERIC Number: EJ868225
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Engage, Investigate, and Report: Enhancing the Curriculum with Scientific Inquiry
Blake, Sally
Young Children, v64 n6 p49-53 Nov 2009
Young children are called natural scientists for good reason. Even infants investigate their surroundings, using their senses to look, touch, smell, hear, and taste. As children discover objects and situations that are puzzling or intriguing--things that provoke their curiosity--they begin looking for ways to find answers, all in an effort to understand the world around them. This is the essence of the science inquiry process. Science inquiry refers to the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on evidence gathered from their work. Early childhood is a critical period for science education, but only if educators use an approach that reflects young children's unique needs, interests, and abilities. While play and naturalistic investigations are important, it is equally important to discuss children's investigations to help them make sense of their observations and their thinking. The National Research Council (2005) recommends the use of an inquiry cycle of learning in science teaching to support the inquiry process. The science inquiry learning cycle can be a valuable tool for learning and may be instrumental in the development of long-term science literacy. This inquiry cycle approach includes five phases that support early childhood investigations. In this article, the author outlines the cycle using the example of an investigation of worms.
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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A