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Ramps & Pathways: A Constructivist Approach to Physics With Young Children

Rheta DeVries & Christina Sales
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If you think the words young children and physics don’t belong together, think again. Based on the theories of Piaget and the work of DeVries and Sales, this book successfully makes the case for building a constructivist approach to physical science learning in the early childhood classroom.

  • Reviews how children “construct” content knowledge and the mental ability to organize knowledge (intelligence)
  • Explains why ramps activities engage children deeply in reasoning about physical objects and phenomena such as force and motion, across a range of ages and developmental levels, even over several years
  • Provides a rationale you can use to explain and defend the educational value of children’s play and exploration
  • Shows you how to apply the 10 principles of constructivist teaching in your classroom
  • Includes dozens of full-color photographs of children’s amazing structures 

To view the table of contents and an excerpt, click on Preview Content.


"All early childhood teachers should read this excellent book. In clear and respectful language, using theory, vignettes, and photographs, the authors both describe how children construct knowledge of the physical world and explain and illustrate what it means to be a constructivist teacher. Their Ten Principles of Teaching should be in the hands of every early childhood teacher."

— Karen Worth, coauthor of the Young Scientist series


"Physics is everywhere, and it's much easier to teach than one would think. "Ramps & Pathways: A Constructivist Approach to Physics with Young Children" is a guide for educators who want to introduce the finer aspects of physics to younger learners in a way they can understand and with plenty of fun demonstrations. With ten principles of the educational method, "Ramps & Pathways" is a strongly recommended read for any . . . teacher."

— The Science Shelf, The Midwest Book Review