Description: This field placement experience provides opportunity for students to expand their professional practice skills with children of all ages and families in early learning settings. Students will observe children's abilities, interests and ideas and the environmental context in which these occur in order to examine, select and implement professional practice skills in the areas of human qualities, communication, professionalism and curriculum. Through responsive relationships with children, families and colleagues, students will demonstrate inclusive and integrative play-based curriculum and illustrate through pedagogical documentation and authentic assessment.
Young children develop science understanding best when given multiple opportunities to engage in science exploration and experiences through inquiry (Bosse, Jacobs, and Anderson 2009; Gelman, Brenneman, Macdonald, and Roman 2010). The range of experiences gives them the basis for seeing patterns, forming theories, considering alternate explanations, and building their knowledge. For example, engaging with natural environments in an outdoor learning center can provide opportunities for children to examine and duplicate the habitats of animals and insects, explore how things move, investigate the flow of water, recognize different textures that exist, make predictions about things they see, and test their knowledge.