Small explorers – nature experiments in early primary school education

Article Polish OPEN
Szewczuk, Katarzyna (2013)
  • Publisher: Edukacja Elementarna w Teorii i Praktyce
  • Journal: Elementary Education in Theory and Practice (issn: 2353-7787, eissn: 1896-2327)
  • Subject: experience; experiment; nature education; early primary school education | pedagogika | doświadczenie; eksperyment; edukacja przyrodnicza; edukacja wczesnoszkolna.

In the study, attention was paid to the value of an independent experiment method in teaching the first, second and third grade pupils. Its application requires from teachers thorough preparation and realizing the following stages: arranging a problem situation, looking for hypotheses, organizing class work, conducting experiments, hypotheses verification – drawing conclusions, the consolidation of acquired information as well as the application of gained knowledge in everyday life. The knowledge of the methodology of experiment based lessons guarantees experiencing success and job satisfaction, and for pupils it creates an opportunity to escape from everyday, often boring school reality. Besides, pupils benefit greatly from such exploring activities. They contribute to their cognitive development, teach them the ability to make thorough observations, to form correct questions and then to provide answers. They present the world around us as a mysterious place, yet its mysteries can be solved. The necessary factor is the presence of a wise grown-up, who will believe in children’s abilities and will create suitable conditions for exploring activities. Through their attitude towards children’s activities, adults can send signals of acceptance or its lack, expressed in such comments as: “Don’t touch it,” “Leave it, you can’t do that yet.” In order to enable young pupils to explore the world, they need encouragement, approval, friendliness and love coming, first of all, from their carers. If they do not find the above-mentioned qualities in their parents, the teachers will be obliged to show their pupils the beauty of nature. It is not a heavy obligation. All the teacher needs to do is find ways leading to the children’s minds.
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