HOW TO TEACH THE CONCEPTS OF "TIME" AND "SPACE" IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ON SOCIAL SCIENCES

M.J. Merchán , P. Merchán 

University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
Understanding "time" and "space" entails great difficulties in the initial stages of education (Early Childhood Education and the first years of Primary Education). The assimilation of these two concepts is a slow and complex process in which the child goes through different stages: from a subjective and egocentric vision to objectification and conceptual abstraction.

Achieving this through meaningful learning, i.e. through the internalization of lived experiences, has proven to be much more effective than the traditional teaching model, consisting of the mere transmission of information, which had led in many cases to discard the teaching of Social Sciences in the Early Childhood educational stages. For this reason, the use of Pedagogical Innovations in Education has become essential in recent years.

This paper presents an experience carried out in the subject "Didactics of Social Sciences" of the Early Childhood Education Degree at the University of Extremadura. In it, the students had to develop a practical project (based on the guidelines and activities proposed by the teacher) that they could take to the classroom.

The analysis of a 19-question survey made to a sample of 98 participants is used to: Firstly, determine the validity and the applicability of this project-based learning experience in the context of Early Childhood Education. Secondly, analyze the differences between the groups that worked by making handicrafts and those that used computer tools to carry out the same activities. Thirdly, highlight the weaknesses and strengths of each of the proposed tasks. Finally, weigh up the perception that the students, as future Early Childhood Education teachers, have of this type of didactic methodology.