Young children are biologically prepared to learn about the world around them, just as they are biologically prepared to learn to walk and talk and interact with other people.
They create strong and enduring mental representations of what they have experienced in investigating the everyday world.
They readily acquire vocabulary to describe and share these mental representations and the concepts that evolve from them.
Children then rely on the mental representations as the basis for further learning and for higher order intellectual skills such as problem solving, hypothesis testing, and generalizing across situations.
While a child’s focus is on finding out how things in her environment work, her family and teachers may have a somewhat different goal. Research journals, education magazines, and the popular press are filled with reports about the importance of young children’s development of language and literacy skills. Children’s natural interests in science can be the foundation for developing these skills.
Whereas many adults think of science as a discrete body of knowledge, for young children science is finding out about the everyday world that surrounds them.
This is exactly what they are interested in doing, all day, every day. In the preschool classroom or in the university research laboratory, science is an active and open-ended search for new knowledge.
It involves people working together in building theories, testing those theories, and then evaluating what worked, what didn’t, and why.
It is for this reason that your little one participated in an experiment with flowers, food coloring, and their thinking minds. Your little ones initially learned about what a stem is, and how it carries water up from the ground to the flower petals so that they flower can “drink” when it is thirsty.
They were then asked to pour colored water into several bowls and place white carnations inside.
Following this, they were asked to predict what color they thought the carnations would turn. Lastly, they waited to see the end result!