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The Challenge of Consistency in Sensemaking Resources Across Play and Assessment for Young Science Learners

Sat, April 14, 4:05 to 5:35pm, The Parker, Floor: Second Floor, Lorica Room


Play, particularly in early childhood education, is lauded as the driving force behind emergent literacies, socio-cognitive development, and formal academic inquiry (Nicolopoulou, Barbosa de Sa, Ilgaz, & Brockmeyer, 2009; Duncan & Tarulli, 2003; Youngquist & Pataray-Ching, 2004), including scientific inquiry in early elementary classrooms (Authors, 2015). Yet, little research explicitly connects how students display their evolving sensemaking in play and assessment contexts. We examine assessment in both playful inquiry and post-interviews. Both settings provide critical insight into children's understanding of science ideas. We make the case that play and playful inquiry should be recognized throughout the life course as a critical learning setting, and formal assessment should take into account resources available in playful learning settings.