The type of symbols that early years teachers use for the teaching of science: A case study of teaching the "Water Cycle".

Kambouri, Maria, Allen, Michael and Pampoulou Salowm, Eliada (2014) The type of symbols that early years teachers use for the teaching of science: A case study of teaching the "Water Cycle". In: 24th EECERA Conference; 07-10 Sep 2014, Hersonissos, Greece. (Unpublished)

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The aim of this paper is to investigate the use of symbols by early years teachers and identify the types of symbols that teachers employ in when teaching early years science. Previous research concentrates on symbols within special education. Literature supports that symbols can help children visualise meanings of words and understand science. Research suggests that symbols can support children with special educational needs at many different levels. The theory behind this study is social constructivism which commonly underpins contemporary studies in science education. Social constructivism involves children constructing their knowledge based on previous knowledge, with an emphasis on the effect that. A case study was designed which included six individual interviews and lesson observations conducted with six early years teachers working in mainstream pre-primary schools. The participants of the study were six female early years teachers. Permission to conduct the research was granted by the Ministry of Education in Cyprus. The teachers and the parents were informed of the data collection procedures and gave their consent to participate knowing that they could withdraw at any time. Teachers tend to mainly use graphic for their teaching and report that replacing words with symbols can support children's learning and prepare them for reading/writing. The participants used symbols which they created on their own, usually using pictures and drawings. Teachers are not aware of the commercially available symbols sets. There is a need to train teachers on the use of symbols and inform about available resources that can be employed when teaching.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Title: 24th EECERA Conference
Organising Body: European Early Childhood Education Research Association
Research Area: Education
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education (until 2017) > School of Education (from January 2013)
Depositing User: Michael Allen
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2014 08:02
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2014 08:06

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