Early Learning and Science Standards Literature Review
Standards for early learning (e.g., children ages 0–5; prekindergarten, preschool, and younger) vary widely in their technical quality and specificity. The Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) at WestEd conducted this literature review to determine the landscape in early learning standards and science, specifically centered on the topics of engineering and domain-specific learning.
Though many sources noted that inquiry-based learning activities are the natural domain of young children, very few studies or articles refer specifically to engineering or design-based processes and terms. In addition to the literature review, CSAI also conducted a scan of states’ early learning standards to determine which states were incorporating more detailed recommendations in science for their early learners.