Everyday activity and the development of scientific thinking

Monday, January 1, 2001
Resource Type:
Reference Materials | Edited Chapter
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Broadcast Media, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media, Comics, Books, and Newspapers, Public Programs, Museum and Science Center Programs
Pre-K Children (0-5) | Parents/Caregivers | Museum/ISE Professionals
Education and learning science | General STEM
University of Pittsburgh

Years before encountering their first formal science lessons in elementary school, children may already be practicing scientific thinking on a weekly, if not daily, basis. In one recent survey, parents reported that their kindergartners engaged, on average, in more than 300 informal science education activities per year - watching science television shows, reading science-oriented books, and visiting museums and zoos (Korpan, Bisanz, Bisanz, Boehme, & Lynch, 1997). This strikes us as a lot, but it is likely to pale in comparison to what young children may experience five years from now. Encouraged by findings suggesting that children's out-of-school activities and learning environments are linked to motivation and success in the classroom (e.g., Gottfriend, Fleming, & Gottfried, 1998), developers continue to expand the number of science-oriented museums, internet sites, books, and television shows specifically designed for young children. But what constitutes effective learning environments? What are the knowledge bases, processes, and practices that good informal science education should seek to develop?

Publication Name: 
Designing for science: Implications from everyday, classroom, and professional settings
Page Number: 

Team Members

Jodi GalcoJodi GalcoAuthor

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