The purpose of this study was to describe children's science content knowledge and examine the early predictors of science content knowledge in a sample of 194 typically developing preschool children. Children's science content knowledge was assessed in the fall (Time 1) and spring (Time 2) of the preschool year. Results showed that children exhibited significant gains in science content knowledge over the course of the preschool year. Hierarchical linear modeling results indicated that the level of maternal education (i.e., holding at least a bachelor's degree) significantly predicted children's Time 1 science content knowledge. Children's cognitive, math, and language skills at Time 1 were all significant concurrent predictors of Time 1 science content knowledge. However, only Time 1 math skills significantly predicted residualized gains in science content knowledge (i.e., Time 2 scores with Time 1 scores as covariates). Practice or Policy: Factors related to individual differences in young children's science content knowledge may be important for early childhood educators to consider in their efforts to provide more support to children who may need help with science learning. (author abstract)
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Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (3rd ed.)
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Foundations of Science Literacy: Efficacy of a preschool professional development program in science on classroom instruction, teachers' pedagogical content knowledge, and children's observations and predictions