Early childhood educators’ beliefs and confidence regarding STEM education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is a growing interest in the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) into early childhood education programs. However, existing research suggests that many educators experience uncertainty, or even fear, when it comes to teaching STEM content. This article presents baseline data about Australian early childhood educators’ beliefs and confidence regarding STEM education. Findings are reported from a survey of 425 educators working in a range of early childhood education settings around Australia. The findings are discussed according to three key themes: capabilities; dispositions; and educational practices. The majority of respondents believe they have sufficient knowledge in mathematics; however, they do not feel they have sufficient knowledge in the other STEM areas of science, technology and engineering. It appears that respondents have positive dispositions toward STEM education, and they believe it is appropriate to explore STEM topics with children from a young age. They feel confident in facilitating inquiry-based learning, but require support to realize the full potential of STEM education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Early Childhood
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2021

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