Active Experiences for Active Children - Science

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9780130834331: Active Experiences for Active Children - Science

For courses in Early Childhood Science, Block Methods, and Early Childhood Teachers of Science. This practical book guides teachers of three-to five-year olds in planning and in implementing meaningful science skills and experiences. Using the most up-to-date research, the authors provide an excellent balance of theory and practice that are tied to the Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the National Science Education Standards, and NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice.

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About the Author:

Carol Seefeldt, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of human development at the Institute for Child Study, University of Maryland, College Park, where she taught graduate and undergraduate classes for 28 years. She received the Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award from the university and has published 23 books and over 100 scholarly and research articles for teachers and parents. Her books include Social Studies for the Preschool/Primary Child, Active Experiences for Active Children: Social Studies, Active Experiences for Active Children: Literacy Emerges, and Current Issues in Early Childhood Education (the last three with Alice Galper), and The Early Childhood Curriculum: Current Findings in Theory and Practice.

During her 40 years in the field, Dr. Seefeldt has taught at every level from nursery school for 2-year-olds through the third grade. In Florida, she directed a church-related kindergarten, and served as Regional Training Officer for Project Head Start. She has conducted teacher-training programs in Japan and the Ukraine and has been a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows.

Alice Galper, Ph. D., educator and consultant, received her doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, she was a classroom teacher in New Hampshire and a Head Start Consultant in the Washington, DC, area. She was a professor of human development teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in early childhood and human development at Mt. Vernon College, Washington, DC, for nearly 20 years and at the University of Maryland. She assisted Carol Seefeldt on the research component of the Montgomery County Head Start–Public School Transition Demonstration. Currently she is on the adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland.

Alice's research has revolved around intergenerational attitudes and program evaluation. She has written many articles for such journals as Child Development, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Alice presents workshops and papers regularly at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, the Head Start Research Conference, and the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meetings, among others.

Active in community affairs, Alice has been appointed by Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, DC, as cochair of the Interagency Coordinating Council of the DC Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers, and she volunteers for Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"What can I do tomorrow?" teachers ask. "I've run out of ideas. And I don't mean just another silly activity. I need something that will keep children involved and lead to successful learning." Grounded in John Dewey's philosophy that all genuine education comes through experience, but that not all experiences are equally educative, Active Experiences for Active Children: Science answers teachers' questions about what to do tomorrow and on into the school year.

Both pre- and in-service teachers will find this book useful. It is suitable as a text, or a supplemental text, for early childhood courses in community colleges and four-year college programs. The experiences in this book would provide a basis for a series of workshops or short courses in science for children.

There are numerous activity books available. These, however, present isolated science activities that are often meaningless to children and void of any real content or learning. Active Experiences for Active Children: Science offers teachers an integrated approach to planning science learning for young children.

Its practicality will also be ideal for teachers who desire the best for young children but have limited training or formal preparation for teaching science. Professionals working in childcare, Head Start, or other early childhood settings will find that Active Experiences for Active Children: Science supports their growth and understanding of how to put theory into practice.


This book is the third in a series of books designed to illustrate how to plan and implement meaningful, thematic experiences that truly educate young children instead of just keeping them busy. Teachers are given guides to planning and implementing curriculum that will lead to children's academic success using developmentally appropriate methods for teaching science.

Active Experiences for Active Children: Science consists of clear, concise, and usable guides for planning meaningful science content and teaching strategies for children in childcare, preschool, Head Start, or other early educational programs. Experiences are expanded into the early primary grades.

The experiences in this book lead to successful science learning because they

  • Are grounded in children's interests and needs in their here-and-now world.
  • Have integrity in terms of content key to science learning.
  • Involve children in group work, investigations, and projects.
  • Have continuity. One experience builds on another, forming a complete, coherent, integrated learning curriculum for young children as well as connecting the early childhood setting to children's homes and communities.
  • Provide time and opportunity for children to think and reflect on their experiences.
  • Contain a large number of resources (books, Web sites, magazines, audios, and visuals) for both teachers and children.

The first five chapters describe the foundation for planning and implementing experiential science learning. These offer pre- and in-service teachers of young children an overview of theory and research based upon Dewey, the constructivist view of children's learning, and the latest guidelines proposed for the science curriculum. The first chapter illustrates how theories of learning and teaching can be put into practice. This is followed by two chapters on indoor and outdoor environments for science. Next the book considers the importance of building home-school connections for science learning. Finally, chapter 5 reviews research and theory and discusses science content, methodology, and teaching strategies.

Next, chapters based upon content suggested by the Benchmarks for Science Literacy and the National Science Education Standards are presented. There are eight experiences based upon the content, areas. These guides include sections for the teacher and for the children.

The section "For the Teacher" begins by identifying concepts key to learning science. Goals and objectives are stated. This section discusses concrete ideas for connecting children's home and family to the school, and describes how to evaluate and assess children's science learning.

The section "For the Children" consists of ideas for implementing the identified goals and objectives through thematic, integrated, and continual experiences. In this case, the guides are based on knowledge, skills, resources, and environments required for children to construct science concepts.


Another important feature of the book is the expertise and background of the authors. Together, they bring a unique perspective to the book. Both have experienced Deweyan education. Both have worked in Head Start, childcare, and other early childhood settings and thus bring an intimate knowledge of practice to the text. And because both are researchers, the latest in theory and research in the field of early childhood education is represented in the text.


We wish to thank Ann Davis, whose knowledge of active children and thoughtful guidance contributed to the development of this book. We appreciate the expertise of Sheryl Langner. Her careful attention to the details of book production merits special thanks. Thank you to Keli Gemrich for her assistance in getting the manuscript ready for production.

We would like to thank the following for their valuable suggestions and comments: Cecelia Benelli, Western Illinois University; Colin K. Ducolon, Champlain College; Deborah A. Moberly, Southeast Missouri State; and Colleen K. Randel, The University of Texas at Tyler.

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Seefeldt, Carol, Galper, Alice
Published by Prentice Hall (2001)
ISBN 10: 0130834335 ISBN 13: 9780130834331
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)

Book Description Prentice Hall, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110130834335

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