Book talks as an approach to nature of science teaching in early childhood education

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This article focuses on the need for increased attention to content issues and working methods for science teaching in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Science education research emphasises the importance of not only focusing on specific phenomena, but also on the Nature of Science (NOS). NOS teaching deals with questions about what science is, how scientific knowledge is developed and in what ways humans are involved in these processes. An inclusion of such issues is important if common stereotypical images of science and scientists are to be challenged. Previous research has suggested that NOS can be taught through book talks connected to trade books. However, there is a lack of empirical studies at the ECE level supporting this suggestion. Thus, this article reports from the first part of a project in which researchers and teachers explored book talks as a possibility to introduce NOS in early years science (children between 1 and 5 years old). Data consists of book talks (N=48) around two picture trade books led by five preschool teachers preceded by a teacher-researcher workshop on NOS and NOS teaching. The results show that discussions on a variety of NOS issues is possible in an ECE context. These results are discussed in relation to previous literature on both NOS teaching and science in the early years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2095-2111
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Educational Sciences (503)


  • NOS
  • Nature of science
  • book talks
  • early childhood education
  • picture trade books
  • science


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