The Progress of Education Reform: Science in the Early Years

This paper discusses how early science instruction has positive effects not only on readiness and achievement within the subject but also in reading and mathematics. It claims that many children are unprepared to achieve in school, in part because of a low quality of science instruction in early-care settings. The author urges education leaders to turn a critical eye on the quality of early science education in their schools, districts, or states, and recommends that professional development providers offer teachers the opportunity to learn science content. This resource would help pre-service and in-service educators understand how children develop science content knowledge, and it would allow them to practice and apply evidence-based pedagogical techniques.

Content Comments 

This article is succinct in its presentation and provides useful guidance around science learning and teaching expectations for preschool. It provides examples from states, such as Massachusetts, that are aligning their preschool learning standards to the NGSS. This issue outlines the case for including strong science curriculum and instructional supports in the early years by outlining the foundational skills and knowledge that young children bring to the science-learning endeavor.  It describes ways that experiences in science support learning in other critical domains, such as language arts, literacy, and math. It argues that supporting science knowledge and skills in the early years yields school readiness and achievement benefits in later years.