If you are a parent or a teacher or a student or an educator or an teaching administrator bewitched by the concept of STEM, all roads lead to us. An ecosystem where STEM is breathed everywhere is what we provide. Our Center of Excellence helps you get the best benefit out of a STEM oriented curricula.
The “most effective” way to foster young children’s STEM learning is a hot topic of debate that has entangled the field in a false dichotomy: play “vs.” learning. As long as the focus remains on the needs and developmental stage of each child, nurturing early STEM learning need not be an “either/or” proposition. Increasingly, a synthesis of instructional approaches is being viewed as key to successful early STEM learning.
Play-based curriculum is widely acknowledged to be a key dimension of effective early learning. Play segues smoothly into learning when teachers intentionally plan STEM experiences—focused on key concepts and skills—let children take the lead in exploring, and ask open-ended questions that cause children to reflect, form theories, ask questions, and explore more. K–5 children greatly benefit from this approach.
Curricula that features direct instruction is also key to building K–5 children’s STEM skills and knowledge. Based on their understanding of students’ thinking, teachers fine-tune activities to help students move along the developmental progression to achieve the goal.”
At the PreK level, the emphasis has traditionally been on cultivating young children’s language and literacy development, with a bit of math. “Comprehensive” PreK curricula said to cover math may not necessarily do so; K–5 teachers spend more time on mathematics instruction. Yet science, technology, and engineering continue to receive short shrift. In part, this might stem from the current testing environment and a strong focus on testing mathematics knowledge and skills. At K-5 level, early technology learning remains a murky area. Concerns linger about how to effectively draw upon technology to enhance learning—best types of technology tools, how much time children should spend exploring technology, uneven access to technology—as well as teachers’ “digital literacy.” However, judicious use of technology can play in early math learning and teaching and offer useful implications for the effective integration of technology into early STEM instruction.