Making space for STEM in early childhood classrooms is easy; or should be.
Children are naturally curious about the world. They want to know:
- Why is it so?
- How does it work?
- What will happen if?
- How can I?
It is important to harness their curiosity, explore their questions, engage their interests and inspire their imaginations.
Provide them with opportunities to investigate objects and phenomena in the world around them. Don’t always be in a rush to provide answers to their questions. Help them explore ways of finding the answer for themselves, if possible, or conduct the research with them.
A story reported by Michael Rosen in his book Good Ideas: How to Be Your Child’s (and Your Own) Best Teacher inspires me. The story explains that, as a child, David Attenborough took an interest in bones. If he was out walking and found some bones, he would take them home and ask his father about them.
His father, who was a GP and would have known, didn’t just tell him. Wanting his son to be curious and interested in finding things out for himself, he responded, for example: “I wonder if we can work it out . . .” They would then look through books about zoology and anatomy and try to identify the bone’s origin.
However, the answers don’t always have to be found in a book or on the internet. Some answers can be discovered through explorations and experimentation. Experts can also be consulted.
In a stimulating early childhood classroom where children have access to a range of resources and opportunities
Continue reading: STEM in early childhood classrooms – readilearn