Science and Technology
Preschoolers — Natural Experimenters
Young children are experimenters and testers from birth. If we observe young children as they explore their world, we will see them using science processes such as observing, classifying, experimenting, predicting, drawing conclusions, and communicating their ideas to others.
We call these processes the preschool scientific method because they are the early forms of abilities adult scientists use. These abilities are also highlighted in the preschool key developmental indicators (KDIs) for science and technology (see below) in the HighScope Curriculum.
KDIs in Science and Technology
Observing: Children observe the materials and processes in their environment.
Classifying: Children classify materials, actions, people, and events.
Experimenting: Children experiment to test their ideas.
Predicting: Children predict what they expect will happen.
Drawing conclusions: Children draw conclusions based on their experiences and observations.
Communicating ideas: Children communicate their ideas about the characteristics of things and how they work.
Natural and physical world: Children gather knowledge about the natural and physical world.
Tools and technology: Children explore and use tools and technology.
Preschoolers use the emerging abilities identified in the KDIs to explore their world and share their discoveries.
As they observe living and nonliving things in the natural and physical world, they ask and answer questions about how things work and what causes change.
Preschoolers resolve discrepancies between what they expect to happen and what they actually observe, and they solve problems by using and transforming materials.
Adults support these processes by providing hands-on materials and multisensory experiences that build on children's discoveries and help them develop the habits of mind and skills associated with scientific thinking.
Please use the links on this page to find out about the training and other resources HighScope offers to help you build on the science that is occurring in your early childhood program.