Science in Early childhood has received increasing attention in recent years. Early childhood education and care staff have crucial roles in the development of science practices as they can: provide learning environments in which children have an extensive range of opportunities to observe, explore, and discover the nature of materials and objects; assist children to become aware of their intellectual power; observe children, listen to their conversations, and challenge their questions while they engage in scientific exploration. This study aims to examine the effects of a professional development program (PSECEC) offered to early childhood education and care staff with regards to improve staff self-efficacy for science approaches, engagement with science, and attitudes toward science to enhance their possibilities to provide all children in municipality day nursery and/or kindergarten centres enhanced educative and playful experiences with science. The study is a prospective, sequential, 1:1 cluster randomized controlled wait-list trial where we will randomize 122 day nursery and/or kindergarten centres employing a total of 1456 early childhood education and care staff to either PSECEC intervention or education and care as usual (wait-list). The PSECEC intervention consists of online learning session, workshops and supportive visits organised in a nine-month long professional development program. PSECEC is provided first to the intervention group and then to the control group. The participants are assessed at baseline, midway and at the end of the intervention. The primary outcome is science self-efficacy measured by the Self-Efficacy for Science Approach (SESA) scale. Secondary outcomes include attitudes toward science, engagement with science in the work context subscale, and science approach behaviours. The trial is expected to contribute knowledge about the effect of professional development in science for early childhood education and care staff with regard to staff science self-efficacy, attitudes toward science and engagement with science in the work context.
- Tine NielsenLinda AhrenkielMorten Rask PetersenMaiken Pontoppidan
About this publication
Published inInternational Journal of Educational Research Open