Opening doors for learning ecology in preschool

Susanne Thulin, Gustav Helldén

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in book

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to give examples of what emergent science can mean for preschool practice. Children are seen as active in their own learning in communication with others. They experience the world around them with curiosity including a special sensitivity, alertness and a sense of wonder. Empirical examples which are reported build on teachers’ and 3 to 6 years old children’s work with “animals in a tree stump”. Children’s experiences of ecological phenomena are related to their interaction with the teachers. The analysis shows that children have a growing curiosity to learn more about different scientific phenomena. There is a need for teachers to recognise and use the possibilities to challenge children to develop deeper understanding of a scientific content area. If teachers meet children’s questions seriously such an approach can be a foundation for the development of children’s understanding, a lifelong learning and learning for a sustainable future.

 

Empirical examples which are used built on a preschool’s work with ‘animals in a tree stump’ with special relations to organisms need for food, space, water and air. We will also discuss the characterizations of air, food and water in relation to children’s’ experiences and teachers interactions. Children three to six years old and teachers take part in the study.

 

The analysis shows that children have a growing curiosity to learn more about different scientific phenomenons. It is also showed that there is a need for teachers to recognise and to use the possibilities to challenge children to develop deeper understanding of scientific phenomenon. If teachers meet children’s questions seriously it could be a foundation for lifelong and sustainable learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducational encounters
Subtitle of host publicationNordic studies in early childhood didactics
EditorsN. Pramling, I. Pramling
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer
Pages65-84
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-1616-2, 978-94-007-1617-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameInternational perspectives on early childhood education and development
Number4

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)

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