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Letâ€™s continue the rigorous and exhilarating conversations we had at the SEED conference at UNI in Mayâ€”join us in forming a NAEYC Science Interest Forum to keep our expertise at the forefront where early childhood and science education come together.
Weâ€™re writing to invite you to join us in applying to NAEYC to form an Early Childhood Science Interest Forum. The purpose of the forum is to:
Â· Provide a forum for the exchange of effective strategies and quality materials for science teaching in early childhood.
Â· Establish and maintain a collaborative relationship with other professional organizations with similar goals.
Â· Build early childhood educatorsâ€™ understanding of the nature of quality science teaching and learning.
Â· Promote public understanding of the importance of inquiry-based science in early childhood settings, as well as an understanding of what is appropriate content and a picture of what young children are capable of doing and learning.
Â· Support efforts to expand professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators.
A new podcast at EarlyEdWatch.net features a discussion with Peggy Ashbrook, author of Science is Simple: Over 250 Activities for Preschoolers. In the podcast, Lisa Guernsey asks Peggy about some of the latest thinking on how to teach science to young children, including a discussion of Ramps & Pathways and a response to why magnets or dinosaurs should be a sidebar to more extendable science explorations.
In my opening remarks Sunday evening, I expressed my hope that the conference would lead each of us to change our thinking in some way. I was wondering if that happened for anyone.
Iâ€™ll start. I have been rather disdainful of science kits over the years, considering them too prescriptive and not open ended enough; not allowing children to ask their own questions, design their own investigations, have their own â€œwonderful ideasâ€ (in the words of Eleanor Duckworth). However, after a discussion of science kits in one of the small groups, I have begun to change my opinion somewhat. I can see how they may provide much-needed scaffolding for teachers who are just beginning to explore new ways of doing science. They are not the be-all and end-all of science education, but they can be a step on the path to more open-ended, authentic inquiry science.
So, how did your thinking change as a result of the conference?