Science builds our knowledge and understanding of the world, and allows us to create new technology and innovation and drive positive change and conservation.
There are many reasons why learning about science in early childhood education is essential. At the core, science provides the answers to many of the questions that young children ask, such as ‘Why is the sky blue?’ and ‘What makes the colours in a rainbow?’ It perfectly complements a child’s natural curiosity. As young children discover the world around them, the more they will learn about and develop a thirst for science.
The benefits of learning science in early childhood are many. Here are our top five reasons:
1. Instils a love of science
In the next decade an estimated 75 percent of jobs in the fastest growing industries will require Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills. As a result, there’s been a strong emphasis on STEM education in schools to prepare students for the future. Science educators are fortunate in that they have a unique opportunity to instil a love of science in the early years, simply by harnessing a child’s natural curiosity. Creating amazing science experiences in early childhood education will inspire children to want to learn more and explore on their own.
2. Develops life-skills
Science helps children develop vital life-skills such as problem-solving, communication and research. A lot of the time, scientific results do not happen immediately and so it also teaches children to be patient and to persevere. Science is one of the most important subjects a child can learn because of its relevance to our lives and its capacity to apply these vital life-skills to everyday activities. These skills help children to generate ideas, make decisions and to use evidence to understand key issues.
3. Aids literacy and language development
Science experiments provide opportunities to practise writing skills and expand vocabulary through written observations and processes. Often young learners struggle to incorporate detail into their writing. Scientific reporting mandates thorough observation and encourages learners to write detailed and accurate accounts of what they see in understandable and interesting language, a practice they can apply to all other forms of writing.
4. Encourages enquiry and critical thinking
Enquiry and scientific method are integral to science education and practice. Through scientific enquiry, the study of science enhances critical thinking skills that can be applied to any area of learning. Critical thinking cultivates curiosity and is essential to understanding and solving problems. It allows children to find meaning in their learning and make real-world connections that impact their lives.
5. Helps form independent opinions and develop decision-making skills
Science teaches children not to take information for granted. It helps them separate fact from fiction. Children are taught to seek information from multiple sources and to rely on evidence to determine truth. This process provides a solid foundation for them to form independent opinions and make decisions, a skill that will serve them well throughout all facets of their life and academic pursuits.
Eleanor Duckworth, author of The Having of Wonderful Ideas, wrote, “Knowing the right answer requires no decisions, carries no risks and makes no demands …. Any wrong idea that is corrected carries far more depth than if one never had a wrong idea to begin with. You master the idea much more thoroughly if you have considered alternatives, tried to work it out in areas where it didn’t work, and figured out why it was that it didn’t work.”
To harness their propensity for curiosity, young children should learn science through first-hand investigative experiences and active involvement. They should ask questions, seek answers, collect data and conduct investigations. This way, science becomes a way of thinking and a platform from which to understand the world.
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning. Fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, we aim to know, understand and nurture each boy to help him realise his potential, passion and purpose in life.
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