© 2015

A Cultural-Historical Study of Children Learning Science

Foregrounding Affective Imagination in Play-based Settings

  • Examines theory and empirical research on how to understand children’s science learning

  • Provides empirical data from different cultural settings

  • Relates and synthesises original research


Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Theoretical Foundations for Learning Science in Early Childhood

  3. Knowledge Construction in Science

  4. The Pedagogical Construction of Learning Science

  5. Models of Early Childhood Teaching

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 197-197

About this book


This book provides an account of children’s science learning beyond the traditional constructivist and social-constructivist view. It conceptualises science as a body of knowledge that humans have constructed (historically) and reconstructed (contemporary) to meet human needs. As such, this human invention acts as an evolving cultural tool for supporting and helping to understand everyday life. Drawing upon cultural-historical theory, the book theorises early childhood science education in relation to current globalised education contexts. Its aim is to advance the understanding of the many ways that science concepts are learned by very young children.

The book presents a theoretical discussion of the cultural-historical foundation for early childhood science education. It examines contemporary theories of learning and development within the general field of early childhood education. This theoretical examination allows for the foundational pedagogical context of young learners to be interrogated. This kind of analysis makes it possible to examine play-based contexts in relation to opportunities for scientific conceptual development of young children. From a cultural-historical point of view, and taking into account relevant empirical literature, the book introduces and promotes a more relevant approach to the teaching of science and for the development of young children’s scientific thinking. The book ends with presenting a pedagogical model for introducing scientific concepts to young children in play-based settings.


Bruner narrative knowledge CHAT Davydov theoretical knowledge and dialectical thinking Slowmation Vygotsky Vygotsky imagination and play Vygotsky theory of play cultural-historical theory early childhood science education play-based early childhood education play-based settings teaching & learning and developmental psychology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Monash UniversityFrankstonAustralia
  2. 2.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title A Cultural-Historical Study of Children Learning Science
  • Book Subtitle Foregrounding Affective Imagination in Play-based Settings
  • Authors Marilyn Fleer
    Niklas Pramling
  • Series Title Cultural Studies of Science Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title Cultural Stud.Sci.Educat.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-94-017-9369-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-024-0576-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-017-9370-4
  • Series ISSN 1879-7229
  • Series E-ISSN 1879-7237
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 213
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 11 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Science Education
    Early Childhood Education
    Learning & Instruction
  • Buy this book on publisher's site