Maria Montessori has concluded that scientific words are best taught to children between the ages of 3 to 6 years, not in a mechanical way, but in conjunction with the objects concerned, or in the course of their explorations, so that their vocabulary keeps pace with their experiences. Over and above her findings, other researchers established that children come to school with a great capacity for learning in general and learning science in particular. Even preschool children have a rich set of ideas, conceptual frameworks, and reasoning skills. They bring to school rudimentary “theories” rules of thumbs, and general principles that help them separate the world into different domains and organize their expectations about how things ought to behave. Tools used to achieve the outcome are:
- Tools for observation:
– Magnifying glass, microscope, binoculars and telescope
- Tools for measurements:
– Thermometer, scale, measuring tapes and hammer and chisel
The tools are used to achieve the following:
- Development of skills in careful observation, recording and describing, and use of increasingly sophisticated techniques of measurement.
- Development of skills using common scientific apparatus: microscopes, telescopes, hand lens, collecting field specimens, dissecting, preparing displays.
- Development of field science skills: tracking, listening, observing.
- Development of scientific inquiry skills: forming hypothesis, designing experiments, recording results.
- Study of the great inventions; machines and technology and their effect on society throughout history.