Supporting Scientific Thinking and Inquiry
YOUNG CHILDREN | MAY 2012
Supporting the Scientific Thinking and Inquiry of Toddlers and Preschoolers through Play
Maria Hamlin and Debora B. Wisneski
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Some educators have reservations about teaching science in early childhood settings. They might lack confidence in their own scientific knowledge or wonder how to include more science content in their teaching. As a science methods instructor, Maria frequently hears from her students, “I’m not really very good at science. I had to take a few science courses along the way, but I don’t really know how to include more science in children’s everyday learning.”
An early childhood teacher educator, Debora has spent many years examining the educational potential of children’s play with preservice and inservice teachers. She has found that many teachers recognize the importance of play in learning but struggle with how play activities connect with content knowledge and how they should support children’s learning though play. Through our conversations, the two of us have found points of agreement and opportunities to grow from each other’s perspective... continue reading
About the Authors
Maria Hamlin, PhD, is assistant professor of science and math education at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her research interests include equity and access in mathematics and science education. She teaches science pedagogy courses for early childhood preservice teachers.
Debora B. Wisneski, PhD, is associate professor of early childhood education at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She studies children’s stories, play, and classroom community. She is the president of the Association for Childhood Education International.
The authors would like to acknowledge and thank Diane Eisen, family child care provider in the Greater Milwaukee Area.
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