Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education

NSTA Early Childhood Science Education Position Statement

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has adopted a new position statement, the Early Childhood Science Position Statement. NSTA provides national and international leadership in science education by identifying the standards and qualities for effective science education. The Early Childhood Position Statement was inspired by early childhood educators' demand  for guidance informed by research on how to approach science teaching in the preschool years (ages 3–5) before kindergarten. Drawing on research from the National Research Council, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and others, the NSTA Position Statement on Early Childhood Science Education “… affirms that learning science and engineering practices in the early years can foster children’s curiosity and enjoyment in exploring the world around them and lay the foundation for a progression of science learning in K–12 settings and throughout their entire lives.” 

The position statement supports early childhood educators who seek to honor young children’s “capacity for constructing conceptual learning and the ability to use the practices of reasoning and inquiry” at a developmentally appropriate level. Early childhood educators are urged to “take advantage of what children do as part of their everyday life prior to entering formal school settings [because] these skills and abilities can provide helpful starting points for developing scientific reasoning.”