Emergent Science: Teaching science from birth to 8
Science is not only a subject that children learn in school, but also a way of exploring and understanding the world around them. Emergent science is an approach that recognizes and supports the natural curiosity and scientific thinking of young children from birth to 8 years old.
In this article, we will explain what emergent science is, why it is important, and how parents and educators can foster it in their children and students.
What is emergent science
Emergent science is a term that describes the scientific inquiry and learning that occurs spontaneously and informally in everyday contexts. It is based on the idea that children are born with innate abilities and interests to observe, question, experiment, and communicate about natural phenomena.
Emergent science does not follow a predetermined curriculum or a set of standards. Rather, it emerges from the interactions between children and their environment, as well as their social and cultural contexts. Emergent science is responsive to children's needs, interests, and questions, and allows them to construct their own understanding of scientific concepts and processes.
Why is emergent science important
Emergent science is important for several reasons. First, it supports children's cognitive development and learning across domains. Research has shown that engaging in emergent science activities can enhance children's language, literacy, math, social, and emotional skills. For example, children who participate in emergent science activities tend to use more complex vocabulary, ask more questions, make more predictions, and express more emotions than those who do not.
Second, emergent science fosters children's positive attitudes and dispositions towards science. By allowing children to explore their own interests and questions, emergent science helps them develop a sense of wonder, curiosity, creativity, and confidence in their abilities to investigate and learn about the world. These dispositions are essential for cultivating a lifelong interest and engagement in science.
Third, emergent science prepares children for formal science education and future careers in STEM fields. By exposing children to various scientific phenomena and practices from an early age, emergent science helps them develop foundational knowledge and skills that are relevant for later learning. For instance, children who engage in emergent science activities tend to have better scientific reasoning, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills than those who do not.
How can parents and educators foster emergent science
Parents and educators can foster emergent science in their children and students by providing them with rich opportunities and resources to explore and learn about the world. Here are some tips on how to do so:
Create a stimulating environment that offers a variety of natural and man-made materials, tools, and toys that children can manipulate, observe, compare, classify, measure, test, etc.
Encourage children's curiosity and questions by asking open-ended questions such as \"What do you notice\", \"What do you wonder\", \"What do you think\", \"How can you find out\", etc.
Support children's experimentation and investigation by providing them with guidance, feedback, scaffolding, modeling, etc., without telling them the answers or imposing your own ideas.
Promote children's communication and reflection by inviting them to share their observations, explanations, predictions, conclusions, etc., with others using various modes such as words, gestures, drawings, graphs, etc.
Integrate emergent science with other domains such as language arts, math,
etc., by making connections between concepts,
Emergent science is a powerful way of engaging young children in scientific inquiry
and learning. By fostering emergent science in their children
and educators can help them develop a deeper understanding
and appreciation of the world around them. aa16f39245
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