Good afternoon! 🙂
I’m back with my final installment to my mini series of blog posts. If you’ve just joined the conversation please take some time to read through my other blogs. As always, please like and share this posting so others can join the conversation! I enjoy learning from others too!
Today’s discussion will be centered around aspects of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). There is a lot more to STEM than what I would like to discuss today, but you can find all sorts of stuff on other websites. For now, I would like to focus on how important STEM can be for young children and why it is wonderful to expose children to these content areas sooner rather than later.
Children are exposed to math and science early in their lives just as they are to art and literacy. The difference is that most traditional programs and some progressive, focus too heavily on the arts and literacy and really don’t put as much time into the sciences and math contents. With STEM, we educators are able to learn and understand more about how important these content areas are for both girls and boys. The focus narrows down a bit to really hone in on girls and minority groups, which haven’t done as well with these areas of study in the past.
When the sciences, technology, engineering, and math are not integrated into early learning environments and curriculum, the children miss out on vital key ingredients to their learning and future interests and abilities. Waiting till children are well into middle school and high school is too late for most children. Science is a curiosity from the start, so why ignore it? Just like with art and literacy, young minds crave knowledge and it just so happens most of the sciences are very sensory and tactile oriented. The world children are the most curious about is filled with unending science! So making sure STEM is covered in the early years is also key to children developing strong foundations for future interests and learning. When a child’s foundation for all learning is built strong in the early years, the later years are so much more rewarding because the children don’t have to struggle as much with these traditionally more male dominated areas.
Young girls and minority groups should have equal opportunities to learn science, technology, engineering, and math. These opportunities should appeal to them as much as it does to the dominant male gender in these fields. That means as educators and parents it is our job to encourage all children to explore, question and construct. Children are naturally young scientists and that usually is stunted when they enter schools that focus heavily on the other core content areas. If we are addressing the needs of the whole child and every child, then it is vital that we do not stifle the natural scientist in each child. We need to nurture those ideas and constructions so as the children grow and learn more they will be far more competent in the STEM areas and be able to compete and work with other nations as adults.
Check out your local Early Learning Department and any related sources for more information on STEM. Classes are also available to take so you can be up to date and ready to implement these age-old content areas but in a new and better way.
I was a child that really struggled with math through my formal school years. I really had to work hard later in my life due to not having a strong science and math foundation from my early years. So other young children do not suffer the same fate, it is extremely important that we change our way of looking at the STEM content areas. Our futures rely on the sciences and math areas, so why not create curriculum, that invites, inspires and allows children to utilize their creative art and literacy skills in conjunction with the areas of STEM? The more positive and creative ways we can introduce different subject matter to young minds the more fascinated they will become. The more fascinated they are, the more they will question, work together, discover and construct.
Please share how you have implemented STEM into your early learning schools. And how has STEM changed parental, perspective on these core content areas?
Thank you for stopping by The Marigold School of Early Learning! 🙂