Even 6-year-olds can think scientifically. Why this matters

Together with his colleague Susanne Koerber, Christopher Osterhaus conducted the most comprehensive study to date on scientific thinking in childhood. The results are amazing: even young children can think scientifically. The gender has no influence – but the parental home.

Moritz Florian

Mr. Osterhaus, even six-year-olds can think scientifically. You found that out in one of the most comprehensive studies to date with daycare and elementary school children. What does scientific thinking mean in children that young?
Already young children have a basic understanding of what it means to test your own hypotheses, i.e. assumptions. The tests we did can be imagined like this: The children are told a little story, for example, where someone wants to find out something. The children then judge what would be a good experiment to explore that question and test the assumption.

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