The National Science Teachers Association believes the involvement of parents and caregivers carries out a crucial role to their children’s interest and ability to learn science. Research shows that when parents play an active role in their child’s education, the learners achieve greater success. With this being said, it is very important for teachers and parents to partner up in cultivating science learning confidence and yearnings of all ages. Children of all ages are naturally curious about the world around them. Educators, parents, and other caregivers can nurture this curiosity by providing children of all ages a positive and safe environment that promotes exploration, inquiry, and discovery.
It is very important for parents to acknowledge and encourage their interests and natural abilities in science. By offering encouragement and support, parents are promoting exploration. When they do strike an interest, encourage them to observe and ask questions. All of this can be easily done at home by everyday chores and activities around the house: cooking, doing household chores, gardening, or planning a trip fosters children’s creative and critical thinking about everyday activities. If they like to watch television, encourage the discovery channel or other scientific programs and talk to them about their interactions and thoughts about the shows. Parents should provide frequent opportunities for science learning with outdoor play, a trip to the zoo, museums, and other summer programs as this can strike interests and then promote inquiry and discovery. Try to provide your child with scientific resources such as books, educational toys, games, videos, and computer-based programs. By having a variety of resources available, they are able to fit their style of learning into exploration of science. Finally at home, remember it is ok to not know the answers to every question your child asks. Instead, use this to your advantage to promote exploration, further inquiry, and discovery.
Not only can parents help foster science education within their homes but also at school as well. Parents can start off by communicating regularly with their children’s teacher to learn more about what is going inside the classroom in order to promote outside learning and exploration. If possible, parents may have the opportunity to volunteer in the classroom or during different activities such as science fair. Parents should encourage and foster children to participate in extracurricular opportunities that focus on science: clubs, field trips, after-school programs, and science research competitions. This definitely helps create confidence while your child is learning about the world of science. Parents should always expect high expectations for your children’s science learning as well as their school.
“Historically, innovations in science and technology have been powerful forces for improving our quality of life and fueling economic development worldwide” (Parent Involvement in Science Learning). In order to continue improving our quality of life and society, it is very crucial for parents and children to value science learning and recognize the tremendous opportunities that arise from exploration, inquiry, and discovery of science.
July 2, 2009
“Parent Involvement in Science Learning”. http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/parents.aspx?lid=ele