this assignment, your task is to observe and participate in the normal practice in an early childhood centre. With educators linking their practice to the EYLDF (Early Years Learning and Development Framework) and EYLF ( Early Years Learning Framework), you are to look for how they have incorporated this into practice, how they are ‘intentionally’ teaching science.
Across several weeks, select two examples of children exhibiting new learning through play. This learning must be related to science or environmental awareness.
This play can be with or without an adult present.
Select 2 illustrations which are quite different in the nature of the learning that occurs. It is preferable that both activities observed are different, however, if this is not possible, you may include one which has similarities. Eg while we would hope that you observe something related to physical science or chemistry or biological science, you may only observe two biological science activities.
Format – please use sub-headings.
Introduction – Provide a paragraph on play theory – how children learn science through play (375 – 450 words). This should engage with contemporary literature and debates about learning science through play.
Two illustrations.- Prepare a 800-1000 word piece about each ‘illustration’ which describes the type of science learning- through-play which you have observed.
Describe what the children are doing, who are involved (other children, parents, educators), and what they are saying and what others are saying to them. This forms your data.
Analyse and discuss these data to identify children’s learning.
As you are looking at the intentional teaching of the pre-school educator, you need to discuss what promoted those learning opportunities:
children as peer tutors
what the educator has done to either set the experience up for the children,
enhanced the play experience through scaffolding (questioning, focussing or challenging)
extended the experience through teacher-led activities.
How did the tasks and resources affect children’s learning? How are tasks, resources and learning related to each other?
Conclusion (500-600 words)
Discuss how your two examples are linked to the science in the early years learning framework and the importance of intentional teaching for promoting science learning. Refer to broader educational research literature.
(35 marks each report)
Contextual description: what the children are doing, who are involved (other children, parents, educators), what they are saying, what others are saying to them.
Evidence of children’s learning – your recorded notes, taken at the time, of what it was you observed which indicated learning on the part of the child(ren)
Analysis and discussion of these data to identify children’s learning.