Asking the Right Question
2. How will this affect the student over the long term?
So with these articles and the Philippine situation in mind, I did try to answer these questions. To the first one, I wrote:
The impetus for early childhood education in science involves both appropriateness and opportunity. The inquisitive and curious nature of the human mind at this stage calls for encouragement and stimulation which science education provides. The fundamentals of the science disciplines, which could be as simple as listening attentively and carefully to what others say, or developing keen observation skills, are necessary toward the development of a critical and questioning mind. Not having a formal subject of science in the early years denies its primary role in humanity, how we reason, relate and represent. Young children can be taught to compare and contrast, make observations and measurements, and appreciate nature. Without a formal subject of science in kindergarten and in the first two grades, there is no specific classroom time assigned to these activities. These lessons are therefore likely to be missed.And to the second question, I answered:
Opportunities not taken are missed. Timeliness is lost. The foundations of critical thinking are then postponed until later years. Postponing science education implies remediation and therefore influences what can be taught in the later years since much of learning occur in steps. What society teaches in the early grades is what society advertises to its youngest members. Interests in careers in science and technology need to be cultivated as early as possible. It should not be later than the introduction of arts, music and religion.Grade 1 schoolchildren, of course, need not see propane, dimethyl ether, acetaldehyde or acetonitrile. But there are so many things that children can compare and contrast even during these early years. It is not really too early for children to learn how to ask the right questions....