A Longitudinal Study on the Development of Competence for Early Science Education
University of Education Heidelberg, Germany
How should kindergarten teachers be qualified in order to enable them to include early science education into their daily work with small children?
How can Competence for Early Science Education (CESE) be defined and measured?
How can kindergarten teachers improve their CESE in a sustainable way through continuous training and by accompanying individual coaching? Which dimensions are important indicators for the development of competences?
Relevant theoretical approaches from science education, early childhood education, adult education and psychology were integrated into a holistic professionalization model for kindergarten teachers. The model was justified normatively and was then empirically operationalized and extended to a definition of CESE. This definition served as the foundation for the development of a specific training and coaching concept. For its systematic and empirical evaluation as well as to be able to measure and analyze CESE, an inventory of qualitative and quantitative methods was created,validated, and applied. The identified effects show 1. that the CESE model is appropriate for the description and support of professionalization of kindergarten teachers and 2. that the training measures derived from the model lead to a sustainable development of CESE. This effect is amplified when the training is accompanied by individual coaching. Reflection- and self-competence proved to be the main indicators for development of competence. 3. A typology of kindergarten teachers’ competence for early science education based on the initially measured CESE allows to predict the development of competence of individual kindergarten teachers and enable a "type related" training.
Reference to full-thesis
Zimmermann, M. (2011): Naturwissenschaftliche Bildung im Kindergarten. Eine integrative Längsschnittstudie zur Kompetenzentwicklung von Erzieherinnen (A Longitudinal Study on the Development of Competence for Early Science Education). In: Niedderer, H. Fischler, & E. Sumfleth (Hrsg.). Studien zum Physik- und Chemielernen. Berlin: Logos. Bd. 128.
Dr. Monika Zimmermann
Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg (University of Education Heidelberg)
Klaus-Tschira-Kompetenzzentrum für frühe naturwissenschaftliche Bildung
Speyerer Straße 6
69115 Heidelberg, Germany