Research shows that children are natural explorers!There is a profound similarity between the research methods of scientists and the explorations of young children.This is a result of the child’s natural curiosity.
SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY IS observation, questioning, & making sensible guesses (that can be tested by logic or observation)Research finds that student curiosity and involvement in real science investigations moves them from passive learners to active learners. Examples: when students:ask questions during an investigation, design their own investigations, conduct investigations using their design,formulate explanations of findings,present their findings, think about their findings .
For all age levels…These are some things to consider when you are developing your science activities
Let’s look at Texas and National standards to determine what we want to teach our children and then develop a roadmap to get there.
Environment – indoor and outdoorScience tools – hand lenses, microscopes, pipettes, plastic tweezers, thermometers, etc.VocabularyAll science content areasHands-on!
Use scientific inquiry – questioning, plan and conduct investigationsToolsCommunicate
Consider implications of higher levels of thinking. Is everyone familiar with Blooms Taxonomy?Scientific inquiry requires students to use higher order thinking skills as they learn science using a hands-on minds-on approach.
Conceptual connections – make connections to prior knowledgeTeachable moments
Don’t always give the answersRepresentations, reflects deepen understanding
This sounds simple, but it requires preparations to be ready for whatever the children are interested in. Knowing your children, think ahead of what guiding questions you might ask your students. Listen/watch for your children’s interests. (2) Decide with your children how they will investigate. Help to narrow a focus and decide on necessary tools.Teacher organizes and children investigate. Use cameras, videos, drawings, encourage discussion. (4) Children will need support Help children discuss their findings, organize their data, compare information. (5) Children come together to report and discuss their findings and decide what it all means.Do they have more questions?????
Categories based on the Preschool Rating Instrument for Science and Mathematics(PRISM; Stevenson-Boyd, Brenneman, Frede, & Weber, 2009)
Infants and Toddlers:They instinctively wonder and explore. As they explore their surroundings they actively construct their own knowledge. Different levels of learning- Naturalistic: Adults should offer many things for the child to look at, touch, smell hear, and taste. As children explore adults encourage, smile, nod, praise.Informal Learning: Adult initiates the experiences, not pre-planned. Teachable moment Talks, adds vocabularyStructured Learning: Preplanned,
Actively participate and are engaged. Have many experiences from which they can connect knowledge. Informally you can do a KWL chart.
Hawkins Center of Learning is an organization of educators from around the world. www.hawkinscenters.org/resources
Building scientific inquiry
Infants through ElementaryBuilding Scientific Inquiry
Robbie PolanEarly Childhood Childcare LiaisonAustin I S Drpolan@austinisd.org512 414 7487
What is Scientific Inquiry? National and State Standards Blooms Taxonomy Roles & Responsibilities Science Materials Matrix Creating the Environment Let’s Explore!
What is Scientific Inquiry? How does this look in a diverse programwhich includes infants through school age children?
Building a Foundation for Inquiry * Develop Vocabulary *Encourage Questioning *Allow Time for Investigations that are Authentic *Provide Rich Tactile Experiences
Let’s Begin at the End What do we expect our children to know by the end of 2nd grade?
Texas Science TEKSThe study of elementary science includesplanning and safely implementing classroomand outdoor investigations using scientificprocesses, including inquiry methods, analyzinginformation, making informed decisions, andusing tools to collect and record information,while addressing the major concepts andvocabulary, in the context of physical, earth, andlife sciences. Districts are encouraged tofacilitate classroom and outdoor investigationsfor at least 80% of instructional time.
National Science StandardsThe standards on inquiry highlight the ability to conductinquiry and develop understanding about scientificinquiry. Students at all grade levels and in every domainof science should have the opportunity to use scientificinquiry and develop the ability to think and act in waysassociated with inquiry, including asking questions,planning and conducting investigations, using appropriatetools and techniques to gather data, thinking criticallyand logically about relationships between evidence andexplanations, constructing and analyzing alternativeexplanations, and communicating scientific arguments.
Provide materials that encourage exploration and questions throughout the classroom Plan learning experiences that are conceptually connected Look for spontaneous opportunities to support scientific thinkingOur responsibilities and challenges
Help children answer their own questions through inquiry Provide opportunities for communicating scientific ideas verbally, through drawing, writing, graphing… Ask open-ended questions and plan open-ended activities that encourage children to describe, compare/contrast, predict, and explain Our responsibilities and challenges
The Inquiry Cycle1 Engage children’s Interest.2 Prepare to investigate.3 Investigate.4 Prepare to report.5 Report.
Rousseau believed that childrenlearned from their curiosity and notfrom teacher intervention.
Throughout the day, does yourenvironment allow children to…. Make observations using multiple senses Compare and contrast the object with other things they know about Encourage collaborating and sharing ideas
Encourage questioning and exploring any unknowns Engage in deeper thinking and learning, the children should not be focused on one right answer Are they having fun?
“Preschool-aged children bring their sense ofwonder and curiosity about the world. Whetherwatching fish in an aquarium or using aflashlight to make bubbles, the child is engagedin finding out how the world works.” -Kathleen Conezio
Advice from Frances and David Hawkins• Start with nature.• Seize the moment.• Become a researcher alongside children.• Become a researcher alongside adults.• Think of your classroom as a laboratory.
Expect to be impressed!Science provides opportunitiesfor children to show off theirthinking, not just facts theyknow.
You can teach a student a lessonfor a day; but if you can teachhim to learn by creating curiosity,he will continue the learningprocess as long as he lives. -Clay P. Bedford