APPLYING METHODOLOGY FOR SUCCESSFUL EARLY-CHILDHOOD STEM EDUCATION TO THE CREATION OF A CHILDREN’S BOOK
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractQuality early STEM education lays a critical foundation for studying STEM topics more productively later in the children’s educational career. STEM learning can promote critical thinking, communication, collaboration, persistence, and positive attitudes towards science and mathematics. It can also help with the learning of other subjects such as writing. Although there are many benefits to STEM learning, teachers usually end up becoming discouraged and reluctant to teach STEM in early grade levels because of the lack of interest, lack of complex understanding from kids, and lack of robust STEM training. One reason for this lack of interest from young children is the limited number of publications that focus on the most effective methods to make STEM interesting and appealing to younger children (ages eight and under). Furthermore, publications also do not effectively explain which methods of STEM learning could potentially help students retain the concepts that they have learned. At times, students do not see the reason as to why they are even studying STEM because they do not understand application of the concepts they are learning. The lack of enthusiasm, anxiety, and low-self confidence from teachers can transfer to students and cause students harm long-term. The goal of this review is to explore the methods for effective learning in STEM in children ages up to age eight. The evidence-based learning practices are then utilized to make a children’s book explaining a complex biochemical process that would be of interest to young children: the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in food. The book will include practices of active learning and other evidence-based educational methods to engage young children in learning STEM.