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Play, Science and Engineering in the Early Years in Australia
chapterposted on 2023-10-16, 03:07 authored by C Campbell, C Speldewinde
This chapter provides insight into science and engineering learning through play in early childhood education in Australia. Discussion includes the roles of government, the curriculum documentation and educators’ involvement. Early childhood education in Australia is directed by government legislation at both the Federal and State levels. A guiding document for early childhood educators, the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) provides direction for the structure, care and practice in early childhood learning and development around the country. In the EYLF, disciplinary-based learning is not mentioned, with the consequence that Science and Engineering education has tended to be unsupported, relying on the educators’ interpretation of what this provision might look like. However, with recent Federal Government funding of several programs that are investigating science and STEM provision, STEM education (including science and engineering) in preschools appears to be taking on greater importance. This chapter discusses several initiatives which are influencing current policy and practice and will use recent research findings to comment on the engagement of science and engineering presented through children’s play experiences.