243 – Understanding scientific literacy through play-based settings in the early years: A critical review

Presentation - ECV2022-243

Understanding scientific literacy through play-based settings in the early years: A critical review

Goutam Roy, Charles Sturt University, Australia (groy@csu.edu.au)
Lena Danaia, Charles Sturt University, Australia (ldanaia@csu.edu.au)
Shukla Sikder, Charles Sturt University, Australia (ssikder@csu.edu.au)

Background: The development of scientific literacy includes both scientific knowledge and the application of scientific knowledge to real-life situations. Much attention has been given to researching scientific literacy in higher primary and secondary school levels. However, the process of developing scientific literacy among children in the early years through a cultural-historical theoretical lens is yet to be understood.

Aim: To gain further knowledge on developing scientific literacy in the early years, this paper aims to review the existing literature to understand how children develop scientific literacy in early childhood settings and early primary years (Foundation/Kindergarten to Year 2) with the help of educators and caregivers in play-based settings.

Method: A narrative analysis using cultural-historical theory has been applied to examine the research literature concerning children’s scientific literacy in early years.

Results: The findings of this literature review identify the importance of knowledge construction that positively contributes to developing scientific literacy from early years. The literature review highlights the importance of considering children’s social and cultural context, which reflects children’s own perspectives.

Conclusions: The critical analysis identifies the paucity of research on developing children’s scientific literacy in the early years and highlights that further research into children’s scientific literacy through play in their everyday culture is needed.

Implications for children and families: Child: You will realise how your play activities are linked with your scientific literacy. Families: You will understand how your children apply their science content knowledge and scientific concepts in real-life situations, which will help you develop their scientific literacy.

Implications for practitioners: You will understand the existing practices of developing scientific literacy through play among children in the early years, which you can use to inform your intentional teaching to help develop children’s scientific literacy.

Funding: Australian Government Research Training Program 2020 International Scholarship

Key words: scientific literacy, early childhood education, early years’ learning, children’s voice, cultural-historical theory, narrative analysis

This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

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