Parents who want their PreK children to have science learning experiences are outliers
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The purpose of this study was to examine parental priorities regarding science education in the early years. The study sample included 1456 Turkish parents of pre-K children (36-72 months). Parents were asked to prioritize eight academic content areas, including science, in descending order. The results demonstrated that the number of parents who prioritized science over other academic content areas in pre-K classrooms was quite low. Parents who ranked science highly deviated from the whole sample and almost all of these parents were identified as outliers by the two-step cluster analysis. Parents of boys and younger children and parents with high-SES level were more likely to prioritize science over other academic content areas. The findings suggest that parental preferences overall align well with early childhood teachers' tendency to teach less science than other content areas, and parental priorities might be another major factor that contributes to limited science learning experiences in the early years. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.