Quality early childhood education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is increasingly recognised as an important component of a contemporary education for all children. In order for this to happen, teachers need to be well prepared to teach all elements of STEM in early childhood contexts. While we have seen progress within many areas of STEM in early childhood, there are fears that early childhood teachers remain unsure of how to integrate technology meaningfully within an early childhood programme. We live in an era characterised by increasingly prevalent digital tools and rapid technological change. Many early childhood teachers are reported to be nervous or negative about having the knowledge to use digital technology with young children. This attitude impacts their confidence and ability to design high-quality educational experiences for young children. The aim of this chapter is to present the results of a small qualitative study that explored the response to an online teacher education subject that was designed to influence early childhood teachers’ beliefs and confidence using digital technologies in early childhood settings. The students in this graduate entry degree programme were already early childhood educators and consistently entered the programme with fear of, or negative attitudes towards, the role of digital technologies in early childhood settings. The learning content and the assessment tasks were based on constructivist theories of learning where the early childhood educators were supported to build knowledge and confidence using digital technologies through the active and reflective experience of using digital technologies in their own online learning. Data is presented to show the change in confidence and beliefs of the participants after undertaking the course of study.
|Title of host publication||STEM education across the learning continuum|
|Subtitle of host publication||Early childhood to senior secondary|
|Editors||Amy MacDonald, Lena Danaia, Steve Murphy|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|