Ideas about STEM among Australian early childhood professionals: how important is STEM in early childhood education?

Simoncini, Kym, and Lasen, Michelle (2018) Ideas about STEM among Australian early childhood professionals: how important is STEM in early childhood education? International Journal of Early Childhood, 50 (3). pp. 353-369.

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Abstract

Early childhood professionals have an important role in supporting young children’s interest and engagement in STEM education. This study explores conceptualisations of STEM and beliefs about its importance in early childhood held by early childhood professionals. The Early Childhood STEM Habits of Mind Framework, described in this paper, was used as the key analytical lens for the analyses of data from 117 early childhood professionals who completed a written survey before engagement in a STEM professional learning workshop. Results show that conceptualisations of STEM education held by the early childhood professionals related to its constituent disciplines; play-based and/or hands-on learning experiences; and the development of habits of mind. STEM was perceived to be important in early childhood, albeit ranking behind children’s social–emotional development. This study highlights the potential utility of the Early Childhood STEM Habits of Mind Framework in supporting: (a) planning for integrated STEM learning experiences and (b) more holistic understandings and a shared language, among early childhood educators, parents and children, concerning STEM education.

Item ID: 58604
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1878-4658
Keywords: Early childhood education, Habits of mind, Integrated learning, STEM, Teacher beliefs
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2019 05:13
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 100%
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