A Cultural-Historical Study of Children Learning Science: Foregrounding Affective Imagination in Play-based Settings

Marilyn Fleer, Niklas Pramling

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


In this book, we move beyond the traditional constructivist and social-constructivist view of learning and development in science. We argue that science as a body of knowledge is something that humans have constructed (historically) and reconstructed (contemporarily ) to meet human needs. As such, this human invention acts as an evolving cultural tool for supporting and helping to understand everyday life. We draw upon cultural-historical theory in order to theorise early childhood science education in relation to our current globalised education contexts. We do not seek to make cultural comparisons, as are found in cross-cultural research. But, rather, we seek to better understand the many ways that science concepts are learned by very young children. The book is designed for researchers and educators interested in a theoretical discussion of the cultural-historical foundation for early childhood science education. In a book of this kind, it is important to examine the contemporary theories of learning and development within the general field of early childhood education. A theoretical examination of this kind allows for the foundational pedagogical context of the young learner to be interrogated. Through this kind of analysis, it is possible to examine play-based contexts in relation to opportunities for scientific conceptual development of young children. With this approach in mind, and with the empirical literature relevant to early childhood education examined, it is possible to introduce a more relevant approach to the teaching of science and for the development of young children s scientific thinking. In this book, we specifically present a pedagogical model for introducing scientific concepts to young children in play-based settings.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDordrecht Netherlands
Number of pages213
ISBN (Print)9789401793698
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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