ECE220 Promoting Science Environmental Awareness For Young Children

ECE220 Promoting Science Environmental Awareness For Young Children

ECE220 Promoting Science Environmental Awareness For Young Children

Introduction

This assignment is based on interview conducted on young children to determine their understandings on science and natural environment. This assignment depicts what should be the nature of science teaching and learning in the early childhood. When people say they don’t like science, it is because of bad experience they had as a child, that’s why science and environmental awareness is important to focus on working with early childhood educator through exploration, question asking, play or using any creativity to solve problems. Study is important to shape the thoughts and opinion of children. Research also shows that most children have forms an opinion (positive or negative) about science and natural environment by the time they reach the age of seven. It is also important to teach WHY to do something rather a teaching HOW (Hamby, 2007).

Science understandings relevant to the early childhood

Understanding of science in early childhood leads to develop in student’s knowledge and understanding, and enhance skills in both sciences and literacy.

ECE220 Promoting Science And Environmental Awareness For Young ChildrenUnderstandings through five phases:-This activity is suitable for the age of 5 year old children.

Engage: Mentally engage students in activity like drawings or questions. It will shows their interest and knowledge about science and environmental and make them to build connection between what they know and what are the new ideas. 

Explore: Let student describe concepts in their own word, it help students broaden their understanding through exploration (Connor, 2005).

Explain: After student explored the concepts and skills, help them to understand the concept and terms used by them and explain the phenomenon they have experienced.

Elaborate: After explanation let them elaborate the concept what just explained, to develop deeper understanding of concepts.

Evaluate: The last phase helps students to review their own learning, understandings and new concepts. And also compare observations with those of others (Le Cornu, 2009).

An interview was conducted of 4-6 years old male and female child and asked basics questions related to awareness on natural environment and science. This report is based on the information gathered from him.

An interview was conducted on 4 young children. And questions were asked related to the concept of science and natural environment (Nyland, 2001).

Child- 1:    Age 4 years, male, Caucasian.

The questions were asked about light.

Questions: -

What you know about light, properties of light, what allow us to see and how light helps us in our lives.

Answer given by child: - sun makes light so that we can see each other’s. Torch makes light, and sun reflects.

Evaluation: - It was found that child has difficulty with the idea of light. Child knows that sun makes light but there was lack of knowledge about properties of light. In primary schools children should learn about reflection and shadow. And also learn terms like opaque and transparent. Students can also explore practically by looking sunlight and creating shadow using torches (Evans, 2000).

Child- 2: Age 6 year old, girl, Muslim

The questions were asked about Floating and sinking.

Questions: - something floats depend on the material or weight?

What do you think if metal place on the top of the water surface, will it float or sink?

The object sinks because of heavy in size or light in size?

Answer given by child: - child answered that object will float if it is light and sink if it’s heavy. Child don’t have knowledge about objects like metal, will it float or sink.

Evaluation: - according to the assessment it was found that child knows the meaning of float and sink, but does not why object float because a force equals to the weight of the water. Children should learn similarities and differences of objects, and object made of wood will usually floats and object made of metal will generally sink. It is important to understand because in later grades students will learn about measuring mass, calculating density etc. This will help students generate their own ideas about different objects and how they can be used to describe. In schools, teachers should also involve students in other activities like participating in swimming etc. to understand more about floating and sinking (BabyCenter, 2013).

Child- 3: - Age four and half year old female, Indian

The questions were asked about Force and Motion.

Questions: - when a ball drops on the ground, why does it fall? Why does not it float up?

 How do we and animals move, why not plants?

Describe concept of push and pull.

Answer given by child: - Child answered about pushes and pull concept but unaware of why ball does not float up and why do we and animals move but not plants.

Evaluation: - It was found that child seems science as a fun part and had a basic knowledge about force and motion but not about gravity, friction, acceleration etc. Teachers should help students in understanding broad concept of force and motion. Motion is caused by push and pull. And push and pull are both forces. Through force object moves or stop moving. When we push something, we are moving object away from us and when we pull object we are moving it closer. For motions child must understand through scientific concepts like planets are constantly circling the Sun. whole world is governed by many laws of nature etc.

Child- 4: - 4 year old, male, oriental

The questions were asked about Sound and Music.

Questions: - How we hear sound?

What is sound and music?

Is sound comes from vibrations?

Answer given by child: - Child answered, Sound travels through air and we here sound with our two ears. But child does not know where it comes from.

Evaluation: - asking children about sound and music gets them thinking in-depth. It helps in developing thinking skills. And sound comes from vibration. When vibrations are fast, the sound is high. When vibrations are slow sound is also low. Teachers can teach students through Letter Sound Knowledge. It is knowledge of the letters which portray individual speech sound in language (Berk, 2012).

Conclusion

The first five years of life of children is the time of vast growth in learning conceptual, social and emotional competence. Learning of science and environmental awareness at early age is not only for building fundamental experiences but also for later science learning. It generates ground for the development of many skills. There are many reasons to start teaching early. One of them is children have tendency to observe and think about nature. And also if engage child early in science experiences leads to easily transfer their thinking skills to their academics, and may support their academic achievements (Moore and Parker, 2012). Teachers must provide children a mix of activities like individual interaction with teacher, small group activity; activities using scientific concepts etc. If festivals are right around the corner, teachers can gives assignments to use scientific experiments. In early childhood or in preschools, young children need quality science experiences to build a knowledge, thinking and language. Teachers should also have well knowledge about science and how it applies in the world, so that they can teach properly to the students. Environmental awareness is to understand the vulnerability of our environment and its protection. Young children must aware about environmental issues like deforestation, production of plastic goods etc. and how they are affecting environment. Hence the knowledge about science and environmental awareness is as important as other curriculum in very early age (Abbott & Langston, 2005)

References

1.Hamby, B.W. (2007) The Philosophy of Anything: Critical Thinking in Context. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque Iowa p. 17-19

2.Evans, J. L. (2000) Parent participation: What’s it about? Early Childhood Matters, (95), 7-17.

3.Moore, N. and Parker, R. (2012) Critical Thinking, 10th ed. Published by McGraw-Hill, p.98-103

4.Le Cornu, A. (2009) "Meaning, Internalization and Externalization: Towards a fuller understanding of the process of reflection and its role in the construction of the self", Adult Education Quarterly 59 (4): 279–297

5.Connor, C., (2005) Teacher qualifications, classroom practices, family characteristics and preschool experience: Complex effects on first graders’ vocabulary and early reading outcomes. Journal of School Psychology, pp. 200–275.

6.Nyland, B. (2001). Looking backward, looking forward: Australian early childhood trends since 1960. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 26(1), 7-14.

7.Abbott, L., & Langston, A. (2005) Birth to three matters: A framework to support children in their earliest years. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, pp. 110–123

8.Berk, E. (2012). Infants and children: Prenatal through middle childhood. Allyn & Bacon.

9.BabyCenter. (2013). Child growth stage and communication. (online) available on http://www.babycenter.com/milestone-charts-birth-to-age-3 Last viewed on 19th March, 2017.