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Preschool Matters Today

Teaching Science: For Students and Teachers


July 7, 2009

According to an article in The Sacramento Bee, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) includes $33 million in stimulus monies to develop paid research positions in the sciences. For the next two summers, these positions will be available for university students and science teachers. The Sacramento Bee states, “the goal is to fuel the economy with new jobs while supporting innovations in alternative energy and new medical cures.”

Science teachers from all grades, from high school all the way down to elementary school, are taking advantage of this summer research opportunity. The hope is that these teachers will then import their knowledge to the students they teach throughout the school year.

While the article notes even first-grade science teachers are hopping on board this stimulus train, there is no mention of preschool teachers taking part. A recently published NIEER policy brief notes that science, along with mathematics, is a largely overlooked subject in preschool curricula. The authors conclude part of the reason is that most preschool teachers are not trained in, and thus are not comfortable, teaching science and math.

How does your district or school incorporate scientific (and mathematical) concepts in the preschool experience? Are stimulus funds going to change the approach to teaching science?

– Jen Fitzgerald, Public Information Officer, NIEER