Written by : Normazita Hashim
Early science for young children is one of the subject offered for Diploma Early Childhood Education in Kolej Perkembangan Awal Kanak-kanak. This subject introduced to all the teacher training on how to teach early science for young children since it very important for the young children in providing children with skills needed for excellent intellectual performance in the future. Therefore this subject is very important for all the teacher training in Kolej Perkembangan Awal Kanak-kanak to master with it especially on how to teach hands on science for children. Research studies in developmental and cognitive psychology indicate that environmental effects are important during the early years of development, and the lack of needed stimuli may result in a child’s development not reaching its full potential (Hadzigeorgiou,2002).
In teaching science for young children, it is important to dig in about children’s experiences to interpret and make sense of new experience. If the children have limitation in experiences, children do not have existing ideas which are correct and relevant to interpret new experience but use existing idea which they think best describes new experiences. Developmentally appropriate engagement with quality science learning experiences is vital to help children understand the world, collect and organize information, apply and test ideas, and develop positive attitudes toward science (Eshach & Fried, 2005).
In order to help children learn and understand science concept, teachers must understand the nature of their perception and ideas about their surrounding since there are lot of factors influence children conception because learning involve change of ideas, not a process in which new idea are accepted of absorb by children. Children normally learn to understanding not memorizing the idea and manipulating the idea for future. According to Duit and Treasgust (1995), children’s conception stem from in deeply experiences, which are helpful in the children daily life context. Duit and Treasgust also proposed six possible sources for alternative conception which is sensory experience, language experience, cultural background, peer groups, mass media, and even science instruction. Therefore, teacher must integrated all the sources so that teachers can develop science process skill to ensure that an idea becomes more scientific. One of the best ways in teaching science for young children is by using inquiry based learning to promote active learning through hands on activities with small groups and with using a varieties of science process skills. This approach allows children to involve actively in their learning process.
As conclusion, young children need a quality science experiences during their early childhood years, therefore, it is important as in society to provide a teachers with a good teaching skills in promoting suitable approach in teaching science for young children develop of understanding about science better in future.