The ESERA Early Years SIG was set up following the ESERA conference in Istanbul, Turkey in 2009 building upon the work of the Emergent Science Network and linking a community of people with interest in studying how children in early years education engage with science processes, promoting activities for mutual sharing of research methodologies and outcomes and in examining implications for practitioners and professional education.
What is early years science?
Early Years Science is science for young children aged between 0 and 8 years of age. It involves the development of scientific skills, attitudes, understandings and language through interactions with the objects, events and people in their everyday lives both in and outside school. There is evidence that children investigate the world around them and develop ideas from a very young age, as a result of diverse experiences that occur before they start school. In many instances children are developing knowledge about scientific phenomena, but will be unaware of its scientific stature. Young children's early years science provides a vital foundation for later scientific learning. It also fosters the development of scientific skills and attitudes important in other areas of life and across the curriculum.
The Early Years Science SIG aims to
• Facilitate communication and collaboration between people interested in Early Years Science
• Further understanding of young children's scientific development
• Develop research methodologies appropriate to early years contexts
• Support professional working with young children and science
• Disseminate research findings and evaluate their impact on early years pedagogical practice.
The Early Years SIG is concerned to support both empirical and theoretical work in the field and is open to a range of methodologies and methods. Important areas of work include: identifying emerging themes and issues in the field, fostering research collaboration and investigating the practical development and implementation of learning and teaching approaches in early years science education.
The Early Years SIG will meet at each ESERA conference. It aims to organise meetings/seminars between ESERA conferences and to support joint publication and new research projects in the field.
School of science and technology, Örebro University, Sweden.
University College London, Institute of Education.