Before Christmas, Natalie Day, from the PEDAL research centre at Cambridge University shared some of her research regarding science and play in early years. It was a fascinating article and showed how much children can lead their own learning when given the opportunity. If you missed her article you can catch it again from here: What can Play contribute to Early Years Science?
Yesterday, in the Guardian, scientist Jenny Rohn posed this question: Can pre-school children learn to do science? In her article Jenny wonders whether the science we do in early years (making bicarb volcanoes for example) 'counts' as science becasue although it gives children different experiences it doesn't teach them to identify and test a hypothesis, which is 'proper' science.
She says "In the UK at least, learning and development from birth through to the age of five is governed by the of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. “Understanding The World” is a specific area in this framework, covering the stimulation of the five senses, and encouraging exploration. From my experience with my son’s nursery, this curriculum is usually expressed as arts and crafts: bubble play, painting with plants as brushes, making ice cubes with things trapped inside them. The children love it, but it’s not quite what I have in mind when I think of doing science"
Read Jenny's article and let us know what you think! Can pre-school children learn to do science?