Early childhood educators : some identified issues in professional learning in science
Campbell, Coral 2011, Early childhood educators : some identified issues in professional learning in science, in ESERA 2011 : Proceedings of the European Science Education Research Association Biannual Conference, [European Science Education Research Association], [Lyon, France], pp. 1-4.
In a small research project, four case studies were developed around the science education of pre-school centres. Mixed quantitative and qualitative approaches were used as the pre-school teachers were asked information about their qualifications and those of other staff; science experiences within their Early Childhood (EC) setting and the opportunities they had for science education professional development. As part of the research, educators were questioned about the science they provided and their comfort in teaching science. The interviews revealed that EC educators indicated that they provide a large number of varied experiences, although often they were unsure of the science content or the science understanding. They felt that this limited their abilities to develop the science activities further. Early Childhood Educators also indicated that whilst there was access to some science professional development, more would be welcome. The types of professional
development which they felt would be most beneficial were “hands-on” play experiences – a “quick fix” approach. This paper will discuss the findings of the research through a socio-cultural framework, noting some of the issues identified during our discussions with the educators.
Field of Research
130105 Primary Education (excl Maori)
Socio Economic Objective
930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
HERDC Research category
E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed