Early Childhood Educators’ Preferences of Science Content Area Activities and Predictions About Science Content Area Activity choices of Students at a Science Fair.

2018-09-05
Gülçiçek, Turan
Demirtaş, Seden
Demircan, Hasibe Özlen
Çetin, Mustafa
A growing body of research emphasizes the importance of science experiences in early childhood education (Eliason & Jenkins, 2003; Archer et al. 2012; Fleer and Robbins, 2003; Robbins, 2005) since science related activities support development and learning of children (Hadzigeorgiou, 2010). Children innately examine their environment and they begin to develop a comprehension of the world. Therefore, Trundle (2010) argue that, in early childhood years, quality science experiences are essential so that children can improve their process of knowledge construction and to develop scientific thinking skills which can be transferred to other academic domains (As cited in Olgan, 2015). Related to this, early childhood teachers should provide a secure environment for children to enable them to investigate and explore through science activities. Besides, teachers should encourage children to share their ideas in order to support children’s creativity and problem solving skills (Unal & Akman, 2006). However, related research indicated that early childhood teachers who have a crucial role in science teaching apt to deal with less science activities (Saçkes, Trundle, Bell, & O’Connell, 2011; Maier, Greenfield, & Bulotsky-Shearer, 2013). Furthermore, Wenner (1993) found that early childhood teachers are not well prepared for science activities. In this regard, this study examines the most frequent science content area (physical science, life science, earth and space science, or engineering technology, and applied science) activities conducted by early childhood teachers in their classroom based on teacher reports. Moreover, this study investigates teachers’ predictions related to interests of children in particular science content areas. More precisely, this study is based on a science fair annually organized by a state university in Turkey. In this science fair, 10 science activities covering science content areas were provided by researchers from early childhood education area. Before entering the fair area and after conducting hands on activities in the fair area as guides of young learners, the early childhood educators were asked to fill in a questionnaire in order to answer the following research questions: 1-) What are early childhood educator’s predictions about young children’s science content area interest? 2-) Which science content areas are mostly preferred by early childhood teachers in their classroom? 3-) Which science content areas are mostly preferred by children in the science fair according to teachers? 4-) Which science content areas teachers mostly plan to use in learning environments after the science fair?

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Citation Formats
T. Gülçiçek, S. Demirtaş, H. Ö. Demircan, and M. Çetin, “Early Childhood Educators’ Preferences of Science Content Area Activities and Predictions About Science Content Area Activity choices of Students at a Science Fair.,” presented at the 30th European Educational Research Conference (ECER), 2 - 05 Eylül 2018, Bolzano, İtalya, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://eera-ecer.de/ecer-programmes/conference/23/contribution/44911/.