Creative Little Scientists

Professor Teresa Cremin (OU)

This presentation is based on a comparative study funded by the European Union, which works across the four nations of the UK and eight other participating countries: Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Malta, Portugal, and Romania. The project (2011-14) focuses on the relationships and synergies between science and mathematics education and creativity in the early years. Creative Little Scientists seeks to document current reality in the countries of the study, through undertaking policy surveys and extensive classroom focused research with children aged 3-8 years. Reviews of related literature have also been undertaken. The study aims to mainstream exceptional and excellent practices in fostering creativity through science and mathematics teaching by proposing changes in teacher education and classrooms encompassing curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. This presentation will focus upon the Northern Ireland data and will consider the approaches used in Northern Ireland for the teaching, learning and assessment of science and mathematics in Early Years and what role creativity plays in these. It will also consider the differences between the pre-school and primary settings, and the challenges faced and opportunities seized by practitioners as well as recommendations for practice.