Science Technology Engineering Mathematics

Focusing a New Lens:

STEM Professional Development for Early Education and Care Educators and Programs

"Teachers do their best work when the culture of their program defines quality teaching and ex- pects and supports this vision." - Ingrid Chalufour, Learning to Teach Science: Strategies That Support Teacher Practice Science Technology Engineering Mathematics

child playing with blocks The purpose of this graduate seminar is to engage early childhood and out-of-school-time leaders in examining the state of STEM professional development for educators. These STEM Fellows studied the strengths and the gaps that exist in the current professional development system. They learned about the latest research on STEM pedagogy for young children. Together with experts in the field, STEM Fellows developed a set of recommendations and action steps to strengthen the capacity of educators to provide all children with high quality STEM learning experiences. As leaders in their programs and communities, the STEM Fellows are already taking their knowledge and expertise back to the field to enhance STEM learning and engagement with children, families, and educators. The Fellows described their learning experience in this seminar as "eye-opening," and have called for another cohort of STEM Fellows to build this movement to advance STEM learning in early education and out-of-school-time settings.

RECOMMENDATIONS

child playing with a microsope
  1. Create a 21st century educational vision that recognizes and values the competencies of all children from birth through school age and one that highlights the importance of STEM education for the youngest members of our society.
  2. Respect and publicly acknowledge the important role of the teacher in STEM education.
  3. Embed into curriculum frameworks and guidelines what research suggests regarding how children learn STEM concepts, processes and skills as well as which concepts, skills and processes are appropriate for each stage of development to promote best teaching practices.
  4. Develop, fund and implement high quality comprehensive STEM professional development programs for early childhood educators.
  5. With families and caregivers from diverse backgrounds, develop a community understanding about the interrelatedness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with language, reading and writing.
child with abacus

STEM Participants

We would like to thank the following experts who offered their time and valuable insight to our STEM Fellows.

STEM FELLOWS

University of Massachusetts