Playful opportunities in early emergence science: How to create joyful and creativity settings in preschool with a focus on science experiments

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The focus was to investigate how educators' use of productive questions can stimulate preschool children to be creative, joyful and engaged in science activities through play-based learning. Previous research has shown the importance of science in early childhood, in supporting development of central competences necessary later on in school life (Desouza, 2017). Creativity, joy and engagement are essential components in children's play and learning (Pramling, 2006). The synergies between these dimensions contribute to children’s experience and understanding of their surrounding world in a lifelong process (Pramling, 2006). Productive questions are essential for activating children's critical thinking and problem solving (Elstgeest, 2009). In this view, educators have an important role in mediating children's learning through play-based science experiments. The research is based on appreciative enquiry (Mejlvig, 2012) and involves experimental approaches in developing playful science practices, supplemented with observations and interviews in 3 pre-schools during a two-year period. The data was analysed and triangulated through situational analysis (Clarke, 2005). To ensure continued informed consent, parents and educators were asked to give consent to participate in the project. Participants were granted the opportunity to view chosen images for publication before giving consent. The findings demonstrate the importance of educators' role in using productive questions, by showing how educators’ guidance in playful opportunities using experimental tools and materials became essential for children's engagement in science experiments and their learning abilities. These findings suggest that productive questions supported by experimental materials and tools create playful opportunities for children in children’s experiences with science phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date7 Mar 2022
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2022
EventCultures of Play: Actors, Affordances and Arenas: European Early Childhood Education Research Association - School of Education at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Aug 202226 Aug 2022
Conference number: 30


ConferenceCultures of Play: Actors, Affordances and Arenas
LocationSchool of Education at University of Strathclyde
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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