March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

The Importance of Early Childhood Science!

Posted: Thursday, August 1st, 2013

by Valerie Joyner

First let me introduce myself as your new Primary Director for CSTA.  For the past three years I have been the CSTA’s Director of Region 1, and when the opening for Primary Director came about I quickly sought the position.  I am a retired elementary school teacher whose passion has always been working with young learners and science.  My background includes over 30 years teaching experience both inside the classroom as well as outside in informal science settings. I look forward to sharing my experience and supporting California primary teachers in the coming months.

I know firsthand the importance science plays in an early learner’s life, whether at home exploring bubbles in the bath tub or building structures from blocks, or in school observing and exploring magnets and plants.   Growing up in my house meant dessert wasn’t cake or ice cream, it was my dad’s “dinner table science” activities and explanations. (My favorite was the egg in the bottle.)  As a young child, I spent many hours digging in soil to find worms to observe, planting gardens, hunting for rocks, and even lived with an iguana, snakes, lizards, and bugs.  I was already doing hands-on science and developing my strong love of science.

I vividly remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Shehi, and the impact she had on my early science experiences.  Her room was full of interesting science artifacts and activities that we were encouraged to explore daily.  She encouraged us to bring science items and activities from home to talk about and explore with the class.  I don’t ever remember using any science textbooks or blackline worksheets (formally “dittos”) for our science, we were always “doing science”, and thus my passion grew.

I bring up my past to share with you the importance of early childhood science and the power you have as a teacher.  We all know the earliest science experiences have powerful and lasting effects on children, ones that will set the tone for their future interests in the sciences.  As early childhood educators you are in a position to assist your students in developing their own passion for science.  Don’t take your impact lightly!  Even the simplest science activities and experiences will help develop our next generation of scientists and scientifically literate society.

Feel free to share your concerns, ideas, problems, and solutions with our primary teacher community.   CSTA is here to assist you with making science education the best it can be.  As your Primary Director I am committed to helping you have the greatest positive impact on our young learners.

Reminder:  This year’s CSTA Conference, October 25-27, will feature many Workshops and Short Courses (http://sched.co/12QDl9w and http://sched.co/18MclMz) for primary science educators (Pre-K-2).  Plan on attending and bring along a fellow early childhood educator!

Have a great school year!

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner is a retired elementary science educator and is CSTA’s Primary (grades K-2) Director.

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For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.

The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.

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Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Marian Murphy-Shaw

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Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.