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Preschool Science Talk in Action and Reflection (PreSTAR)
Principal Investigator: Soo-Young Hong
Funding Agency: Brazil Collaboration Pilot Impact Grant
Award Date: Jan 1, 2017
End Date: Jun 30, 2019
This 18-month study explores how a professional development program could help preschool teachers integrate science into their daily classroom activities.
As part of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln/Brazil Early Childhood Initiative, researchers aim to investigate teachers’ ideas about incorporating science concepts with their classroom practices. They also will explore changes in teachers’ science talk as they observe and reflect on children’s interactions with science materials and their interactions with children, and changes in children’s response to teachers’ use of science talk.
Participants will include eight preschool teachers serving 4- and 5-year-old children from low-income families. Four of the study’s preschool teachers live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and four live in São Paulo, Brazil. Brazilian participants will be recruited from public preschool programs, while U.S. participants will be recruited from both public preschool and private child care programs.
During the study, teachers watch videos of their classroom interactions, reflect on opportunities to implement science lessons and receive additional training in early childhood science instruction. Researchers provide technical training materials, which suggest ways to connect children’s development with science teaching goals.
Researchers aim to use findings to help preschool teachers integrate science teaching through the process of observation and reflective practice.
Children and their teacher, Elizinete Natália Queiroz de Araújo Souza, second from left, examine the garden at EMEI Ignacio in São Paulo, one of the preschools engaged in PreSTAR.