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Young Investigators

The Project Approach in the Early Years

192 pages
Teachers College Press

Young Investigators has been expanded to guide today’s teachers through the process of conducting meaningful investigations with young children. This fourth edition of the bestseller begins with a new chapter, “How Children Really Learn,” which summarizes insights from mind-brain education research, showing how experiences firmly rooted in children’s curiosity and interest build intellectual capacity. The book then introduces the Project Approach with step-by-step guidance for incorporating child initiation and direction into curriculum while simultaneously addressing content standards. A new focus on critical Teacher Decision Points uses fresh-from-the-classroom examples to show how teachers think through project work. The emphasis on STEM experiences has been expanded to include STEAM through a new chapter, “The Role of Project Work in the Arts.” This book makes project-based learning possible with the youngest children (toddlers through 2nd grade) who are not yet proficient in reading and writing, but capable of deep, focused thinking. Throughout, readers empathize with teachers’ concerns, witness how they find solutions to challenges, and feel the excitement of children during project work. Young Investigators is appropriate for teachers new to using the Project Approach, as well as for those who already have experience.

Book Features:

  • Examples of projects from child care centers and preschool, K–2, and special education classrooms.
  • Instructions for incorporating standards and STEAM skills into project work.
  • A variety of experiences to help children connect to the natural world.
  • Toddler projects that reflect knowledge from recent mind-brain research.
  • Tools for integrating required curriculum goals and for assessing achievement.
  • A Teacher Project Planning Journal that leads teachers through the major decision points of project work.
  • Full-color photographs of children engaged with projects.
  • A study guide for pre- and inservice teachers (available at www.tcpress.com).
Author Bio

Judy Harris Helm is the author of 10 books on project work, neuroscience applications, and early childhood programs. Lilian G. Katz is past president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and professor emerita at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Rebecca Wilson has a specialization in bilingual education and teaches pre-K in the Van Meter Community School District, Iowa.