Beth Van Meeteren
- Beth Van Meeteren, Director, Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education, University of Northern Iowa
- Mason Kuhn, Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Northern Iowa
- Sohyun Meacham, Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Northern Iowa
- Sarah Vander Zanden, Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Northern Iowa
DISTRICT PARTNER(S): Dike-New Hartford, Emmetsburg, North Tama County
PROJECT DURATION: 2015-17
ABSTRACT: The current emphasis on literacy assessments in early childhood is driving many kindergarten classrooms to do away with science experiences for children to focus solely on literacy instruction. This study will use mixed methods to determine the effects of nature-based science project work in preschool and kindergarten classrooms on student achievement in literacy.
This proposal reflects a unique opportunity to join a team dedicated to increasing science nature investigations with young children. The Lakeside Laboratory Regents’ Resource Center at Okoboji asked the Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education (RCEDE) at UNI to examine the effects of their Young Investigators teacher professional development program. Young Investigators is an organization dedicated to facilitating early access to science inquiry through nature‐based project work. It uses a method of teaching in which in‐depth study of a particular topic is conducted by a child or a group of children. Activities engaged in during project work include drawing, writing, reading, recording observations, and interviewing experts (Katz, 1994).