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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: June 2012

CHAPTER 7 - LEARNING SCIENCE IN INFORMAL CONTEXTS: THE HOME AND COMMUNITY

Summary

Objectives

At the end of this chapter, you will:

Reflect on background research on science learning in the home and community.

Recognise the multiplicity of ways in which science skills and concepts are developed within the everyday practices of families.

Reflect on case studies and practical tasks on science learning in the home and the community.

Be able to relate the EYLF to how families' funds of knowledge can provide a rich and meaningful basis for children's learning in science.

Recognise how important it is for teachers to make connections between the everyday concepts that children develop in these informal settings and scientific or academic concepts.

Overview

Science is everywhere. Learning about science occurs not only in formal school settings, but also in home and community contexts. Informed by sociocultural theory, this chapter examines some of the multiple and complex ways in which science skills and concepts are being developed within the everyday practices of families, and ways in which families' funds of knowledge provide a rich and meaningful basis for children's future learning in science. The chapter argues that it is important for teachers to make connections between the everyday concepts that children develop in these informal settings and the scientific or academic concepts they are introduced to in pre-school or school.

From birth children are connected to family, community, culture and place. Their earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships, particularly within families, who are children's first and most influential educators (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2009, p. 7).