A Sense of Wonder Cover

A Sense of Wonder

Science in early childhood education

A Sense of Wonder explores the possibilities for experiencing science in early childhood settings, together with practical science ideas to inspire educators. This book helps to link the EYLF principles, practice and learning outcomes to science learning. It outlines an early childhood science framework divided into four learning areas: biological science, physical science, earth science and environmental science.

During early science learning, children are seen as confident, capable, involved learners, eager to observe and explore the world around them. This can be supported by creating an inquiry approach within a play-based program that promotes positive learning.

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Ages: 1-5 | Pages: 96 | Code: TS0103 | ISBN: 9781921613579

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Jenny Aitken

Jenny Aitken is a highly experienced early years educator. She also co- authored A Sense of Wonder: Science in Early Childhood Education.

Jan Hunt

Jan Hunt is a highly experienced early years educator. She also co- authored A Sense of Wonder: Science in Early Childhood Education.
Picture of Elizabeth Roy

Elizabeth Roy

Elizabeth Roy is an Early Childhood TAFE teacher at Victoria University with extensive experience in the early childhood field. Her areas of expertise include early childhood development, science, nutrition, safe food handling and play-based curriculum theory and design. She also enjoys facilitating professional development for TAFE teachers and early childhood educators. Elizabeth is an experienced author who first published in 1986 and has co-authored thirteen health & human development and early childhood text books. Elizabeth and her co-authors Bess Sajfar, Jan Hunt and Jenny Aitken were thrilled to receive a Highly Commended citation in the Australian Awards for Excellence in Education – 2013 for A Sense of Wonder: Science in Early Childhood Education. Elizabeth has a passion for inspiring early childhood educators to make a difference and support young children to actively explore and wonder at the world around them.

Picture of Bess Sajfar

Bess Sajfar

Bess Sajfar is a sessional lecturer in Early Childhood/ Primary education. Her areas of expertise include early childhood mathematics, science, sustainability, nature pedagogy, the arts and play based curriculum theory and design. Bess started her career in the corporate world, but realised that her passion was teaching. Bess has worked in various educational settings from kindergarten, primary, vocational & tertiary education. She has a Master’s degree in education and is currently undertaking her PhD – Titled: A little green is good for the soul: edible gardens enhancing environmental thinking and awareness in early childhood curriculum and pedagogy.

In 2015 Bess was awarded an Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching ‘Citation for Outstanding Contributions to inspiring early childhood students in science with the wonder of nature, through integrated and engaging curriculum teaching’. In 2010, she received special mention in the World Environment Day Competition for designing curriculum based learning to support sustainable practice. Also in 2009, Bess was part of a team that received a Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (TAFE).

Bess has co-authored a science teaching resource book, which subsequently was shortlisted and won highly commended primary teaching resource for the Australian Educational Publishing Awards in 2013.

Bess is passionate about supporting early childhood educators, who will in turn inspire young children to explore, wonder and learn

Contents

Preface v
Acknowledgements vi
1.\tWhat is science?1
What is the place of science in early childhood?2
What is science?2
Scientists at work3
Early childhood science learning framework4
Science learning areas4
Process skills used in science8
References and further reading10
2.\tConnecting the Early Years Learning Framework to science11
The Early Years Learning Framework12
EYLF learning outcomes13
References and further reading16
3.\tHow to honour a child’s sense of wonder17
Intentional teaching18
Developing dispositions for learning20
Inquiry-based learning22
Planning for science inquiry24
Approaches to learning26
Documenting children’s learning28
References and further reading30
4.\tCreating inspiring spaces for science31
Our changing world32
Science connects to all areas of the curriculum33
Resources to support science inquiry33
Creating aesthetically pleasing environments36
Using real resources37
Science learning safety considerations38
References and further reading38
5.\tBiological science39
Biological science in early childhood education40
Plants40
The importance of gardening43
Animals47
The human body51
References, further reading and resources54
6.\tPhysical science55
Physical science in early childhood education56
The nature of materials57
Physical and chemical changes60
Forces and movement of objects64
Energy68
References, further reading and resources70
7.\tEarth science71
Earth science in early childhood education72
Water73
Rocks74
Soils76
Mud77
Sand77
Day and night78
Weather and seasons79
References, further reading and resources82
8.\tEnvironmental science83
Environmental science in early childhood education84
Experiences for children – birth to 3 years86
Experiences for 4- to 5-year-olds88
Composting91
Worm farming92
References, further reading and resources94
Some useful websites and organisations95