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1 Encouraging the Development of Scientific Literacy in Early Childhood Institutions: Croatian Experience

Authors: L. Vujičić, Ž. Ivković, Ž. Boneta

Abstract:

There is a widespread belief in everyday discourse that science subjects (physics, chemistry and biology) are, along with math, the most difficult school subjects in the education of an individual. This assumption is usually justified by the following facts: low GPA in these subjects, the number of pupils who fail these subjects is high in comparison to other subjects, and the number of pupils interested in continuing their studies in the fields with a focus on science subjects is lower compared to non-science-oriented fields. From that perspective, the project: “Could it be different? How do children explore it?” becomes extremely interesting because it is focused on young children and on the introduction of new methods, with aim of arousing interest in scientific literacy development in 10 kindergartens by applying the methodology of an action research, with an ethnographic approach. We define scientific literacy as a process of encouraging and nurturing the research and explorative spirit in children, as well as their natural potential and abilities that represent an object of scientific research: to learn about exploration by conducting exploration. Upon project completion, an evaluation questionnaire was created for the parents of the children who had participated in the project, as well as for those whose children had not been involved in the project. The purpose of the first questionnaire was to examine the level of satisfaction with the project implementation and its outcomes among those parents whose children had been involved in the project (N=142), while the aim of the second questionnaire was to find out how much the parents of the children not involved (N=154) in this activity were interested in this topic.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, documenting, evaluation questionnaire for parents, scientific literacy development

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