Why Science Education is Important in Early Childhood

May 2021
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There is a growing understanding and recognition of the power of children’s early thinking and learning as well as a belief that science may be a particularly important domain in early childhood, serving not only to build a basis for future scientific understanding but also to build important skills and attitudes for learning.

For most, if not all young learners, science is just an extension of their everyday world. Science teaches you how to discover and wonder about everything around you, and that is something children do naturally. For educators teaching science, this is the perfect opportunity to have a positive impact on shaping the thoughts and opinions in children. With a lot of emphasis on STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), it's almost imperative to include science in early childhood. The importance of early STEM education is included in the following factors:

• STEM amplifies language development while language enables STEM thinking.
• Active, self-directed learning builds STEM skills and interest.
• Children’s abstract thinking potential can be unlocked through both adult support and executive function skill development.

This growing understanding of the value of science in early education comes at a time when the number and diversity of children in childcare settings and the number of hours each child spends in such settings is increasing. It is in the early childhood classroom where this kind of experience with the natural world must take place, allowing all children to build experiences in investigation and problem solving and the foundation for understanding basic science concepts.

• It can foster a life-long love of science by establishing a positive approach to science education.
• It gives a basic grounding in scientific concepts and scientific thinking providing a strong foundation in terms of both what is learned, and how it’s learned, that will stand them in good stead.
• It supports the development of other skills and attributes including communication skills, collaborative skills, team working and perseverance, as well as analytical, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.

So what is science?

Science is both a body of knowledge that represents current understanding of natural systems and the process whereby that body of knowledge has been established and is continually extended, refined, and revised. Science activities are often seen as vehicles for the development of vocabulary and basic skills including colour and shape recognition. It is also a context in which children can develop and practice many basic skills of literacy and mathematics. Finally, science is a collaborative endeavour in which working together and discussing ideas are central to the practice.

At Fahr, we offer a range of Science and Learning Panels that feature environmental learning, developmental science education and investigative play time. To learn more about the benefits of Fahr's science-based panels, please visit our website or get in touch.

Science may be a particularly important domain in early childhood serving not only to build a basis for future scientific understanding but also to build important skills...

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