Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Science Activities on Concept Acquisition of Age 5-6 Children Groups*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Science Activities on Concept Acquisition of Age 5-6 Children Groups*

Article excerpt

Abstract

Present research aims to determine the effect of science activities on concept development of preschool period age 5-6 children groups. Parallel to research objective, qualitative research pattern has been the selected method. Study group comprises of collectively 48 children from 5-6 age group attending to a private education institution in city of Antalya. Prior to conducting the research literature scan has been performed to identify "the Earth, Sun and Moon" relevant concepts corresponding to the age level of participants. Parallel to the science-related concepts activities such as "Do you know our Solar System?", "Do the planets move?", "How are the movements of the Earth, Sun and Moon?", "What are the phases of Earth, Moon?", "How does night and day occur?", "How does the Earth look like from the Space?" have been implemented for a period of six weeks. In line with selected science-relevant concepts participants have been asked to draw pictures before and after the science activities while at the same time the researchers have recorded in writing what participants aimed to narrate via pictures. At the end of research it has been manifested that science activities is an effective technique in the acquisition of basic concepts related to "the Earth, Sun and Moon" as much as they positively affect development of already-existing concepts in children.

Key Words

Science Teaching, Concept Teaching, Science Activities, Preschool Education, Earth, Sun and Moon.

Parallel to their development stages children tend to demonstrate high sensitivity towards certain types of learning during different stages of age. In this stage which is also termed as critical period children demonstrate further awareness towards environmental effects and can gain the kind of learning experiences prepared around their environment in a faster way. During preschool years on the other hand psycho-social, cognitive and language developments possess critical value (Senemoglu, 2011). Since it is acknowledged that children possess different developmental characteristics than adults it is necessary to render them the kind of education addressing to the developmental characteristics of their own period (Vaivre Douret, 2011). During preschool ages children's mental-linguistic, social-emotional, psycho-motor and physical development and personality formation is completed to a large extent. Supporting this process via rich stimulants positively affects full development of the child (Draper, Achmat, Forbes, & Lambert, 2012). Conducted researches underline that in order to raise qualified and healthy individuals performing desired behaviors it is deemed necessary to start education at quite early ages (Patrick, Mantzicopoulos, Samarapungavan, & French, 2008). Preschool education that backs up education and development phases at home is one of the significant processes that prepares the child to primary education and has a positive effect in reaching achievement while receiving further education and effectively solving daily life problems (Stylianides & Stylianides, 2011). Preschool education is doubtless to say greatly important. That is largely related to the reason that learning mode is rather fast during early years of life, all knowledge and experiences gained during those years leave persistent effects in further stages that might also affect next phases in a child's life (Dursun, 2009; Karalis, 2009). Indeed as demonstrated by a good number of international exams such as PISA 2009 it has been proved that children with preschool educational background are compared to the ones with no preschool education much more successful (OECD, 2010).

A new born child is expected to possess required knowledge and skills to sustain his/her life. One of the biggest challenges that need to be overcome is learning and understanding the world lived in. That is the reason why individuals are naturally curious and strive to explore everything around (Dagli, 2007). …

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