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Developing science process skills in the natural environment in preschool children

Irena Kokalj (2015) Developing science process skills in the natural environment in preschool children. Diploma thesis.

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    To a preschool child, nature offers many challenges through which he or she can gain experience, which is crucial for their well-rounded development. A stimulating natural environment along with its varied materials, objects and spaces, provides plenty of opportunities for gaining knowledge and developing skills. However, to develop a scientific way of thinking, there should be present conclusion making and natural scientific thinking which a child builds through science process skills. Science process skills are skills and knowledge which a child needs to discover nature and through which he or she starts to understand the phenomena and processes in natural science. In a preschool period, we develop mainly the processes of observation, comparison, classification and editing. In my diploma thesis, I carried out a study into how children through various guided activities in natural environment can make progress in science process skills. There were 21 children included, three to six years old. By means of the tests that I prepared, I found to what extent the children had already acquired science process skills such as observation, comparison, classification and editing. Then, during five visits with children to the forest, I conducted a variety of guided games through which the children were developing these skills. When the activities were over, I re-tested them, and two month after the final test, I carried out a late final test and then made a quantitative analysis of the results. The results showed that the children made progress in science process skills after the visits to the forest. Compared to the initial test, the results of the final and late final tests showed the biggest improvement in the process of classification, clearly as well as in the processes of observation and comparison. The activities in which the children were developing science process skills through play in a natural environment, proved as a strong motivator. I conclude that natural environment is made good use of with such activities. The results of my study proved the forest to be that learning environment which not only stimulates learning new natural scientific contents, but also and primarily enables progress in science process skills.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: preschool child, process skills, initial natural science, science process skills, natural scientific instructional games, natural environment
    Number of Pages: 58
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    viš. pred. dr. Marjanca KosMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10736713)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 3136
    Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2015 10:40
    Last Modified: 02 Oct 2015 10:40
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/3136

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