Educative experiences and early childhood science education: A Deweyan perspective on learning to observe

Apr. 02, 2008

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 24, Issue 3, April 2008, Pages 536-549

This paper is a report of work conducted at an urban elementary professional development school in the eastern US. John Dewey's explication of ‘educative experiences’ is applied to describe curriculum involving small animals as a basis for teaching science inquiry processes, particularly the process of observation.

The analysis is qualitative and interpretive; the data consist of observations, transcripts of science study group meetings, and interviews with five participating teachers in grades kindergarten through third. A principal objective of this analysis is to provide recommendations concerning how we might help preservice elementary teachers create effective approaches to science curricula that utilize real-world science experiences to inspire and develop children's learning in science.

Updated: Apr. 08, 2008