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How can we improve early science education?

Editor’s note: This story led off this week’s Early Childhood newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes every other Wednesday with trends and top stories about early learning. Subscribe today!

If pre-K and elementary teachers are going to be better equipped to teach science, they need better training during teacher preparation programs — and that training should be followed by long-term support. That’s one of the main findings of a new report by the American Institute for Research, (AIR), which looks at strategies to improve science teaching in the early grades.

Researchers sifted through more than two dozen studies of programs that aimed to improve science teaching from pre-K through elementary school, and found several key strategies that enhanced teacher content knowledge, boosted the quality of science lessons and led to better student outcomes in science. Among these approaches were making sure aspiring teachers have a strong grasp of science concepts, giving science training to mentor teachers (who often support new teachers), and offering educators long-term guidance as they roll out science lessons in the classroom.

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