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Exploring Science with Young Children: A Developmental Perspective

by Terry Russell and Linda McGuigan SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Pbk 208 pages
AU$67.00 NZ$69.57
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Science in the early years is about more than developing understanding of key scientific concepts. It is about encouraging imagination, creativity and curiosity and nurturing key scientific skills to form a firm base for learning. Understanding how best to do this for young children aged 3-7 is the focus of the book.  


By concentrating on practical and naturally occurring experiences the authors look at meeting the needs of the curriculum with children at the centre of their own learning.  


Chapters look at how to work with children to:


· Find out and develop their own ideas  

· Get them inquiring scientifically

· Use evidence to support their views.


This book will really help develop the whole child across the curriculum and make sure they have the skills they need for later learning.

CHAPTER 1: Introduction
CHAPTER 2: The Nature of Early Years Science
CHAPTER 3: Finding Out Children's Ideas
CHAPTER 4: Developing Conceptual Understanding in Science
CHAPTER 5: Working Scientifically and Developing Science Inquiry Skills
CHAPTER 6: Encouraging Expression of Ideas
CHAPTER 7: The Uses of Technology to Support Learning
CHAPTER 8: Planning, Assessment and Record Keeping

This is a super book which will be useful for practitioners working with children in the Early Years, but also useful for Primary teachers and science co-ordinators looking to develop their understanding of how science can be explored with young children.


The text is very accessible; theory is integrated well into the text and fully explained, with ample opportunities throughout for the reader to pause and reflect on what they have read and consider how it relates to their own practice or the practice discussed in the text. The 'Pauses for thought' and 'Reflection' boxes were ideally placed to facilitate this.


The photographs and samples of children's work throughout, again provided ideal opportunities for reflection on practice in the early years setting


Science has been explored in a holistic manner in the book and I very much liked how the subject is seen as an integral part of the early years classroom and also an essential part of children's development


Terry Russell is emeritus professor at the University of Liverpool. He is a psychologist by background and training with a special interest in cognitive development as applied to the learning of science at all ages, but especially the younger age range. He taught in primary and secondary special needs schools and worked as an educational psychologist before finding opportunities into move into research. He has worked in Southeast Asia and Africa and at King’s College, London and directed the Centre for Research in Primary Science and Technology at the University of Liverpool for over twenty years. He has directed national and international projects and published extensively. This book reflects his commitment to evidence-based activity that improves teachers’ and pupils’ educational experiences, where theory informs practice through practical and accessible applications.  


Dr Linda McGuigan has an established record of research into the emergence and development of science understanding in the Early Years. Formerly a primary teacher and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Primary Science and Technology at the University of Liverpool, Linda has conducted and managed research into children’s conceptual development in science, assessment and curriculum development. Attracting national and international interest, her work has been funded by national assessment and curriculum agencies. She has co-authored a number of books, reports, articles and digital and hard copy materials to support Early Years practice. Focusing on children’s conceptual progression, she brings a developmental perspective to science learning, teaching and assessment. Linda’s PhD investigated the impact of multimodal approaches on children’s science learning.  Multimodal learning continues to be an important feature of her research and professional development activities.