Children are scientists from the moment they are born, using their senses to observe and gain knowledge about the world around them.
As they grow older, they become increasingly more adept at using their observations to make predictions and to plan investigations in order to solve problems and answer questions. These skills are important aspects of school readiness as they provide a process for children to ask and answer their own questions by absorbing and making sense of information. The components within this domain address a child’s ability to use scientific methods—observing, planning for investigations, collecting and analyzing data, and communicating information—as well as indicators of a child’s content knowledge of the natural and physical world.
Children with disabilities may demonstrate alternate ways of meeting the goals of science development. Children with visual impairments, for example, will explore and understand a flower in a way that is different from that of a child who can see; and children with a cognitive impairment may reach many of these same goals, but at a different pace, with a different degree of accomplishment, and in a different order than typically developing children. However, the goals for all children are the same, even though the path and the pace toward realizing the goals may be different. Principles of universal design for learning (UDL) offer the least restrictive and most inclusive approach to developing environments and curricula that best support the science development of all children.
While this domain represents general expectations for science development, each child will reach the individual learning goals at his or her own pace and in his or her own way.