A design-based study of STEM education in a Shenzhen kindergarten

Lidan ZHANG, Xinyun HU

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Early childhood educators’ perceptions and teaching practices can strongly influence the quality of STEM education. Quality STEM activity has a promising effect on nurturing children’s habits of mind. The study aims to design a pedagogical tool to support educators and improve the quality of STEM activities. The design-based method is employed. The first stage of the study explored the practical educational context through understanding early childhood educators’ perceptions and teaching practices on STEM education in Shenzhen. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews and online survey. The result indicated the educators valued STEM activities. The pedagogy challenges had been identified such as how to provide developmental appropriate instructions and learning environments to engage children. However, they presented low awareness of nurturing children’s habits of mind. The activities were the mainly teachers-led mode. They all followed one structured process including warm-up, input section, design and operation, and presentation. In the second stage, the study will design and exam the pedagogical tool based on Early childhood STEM habits of Mind and multimodal learning framework. Data will be collected through activity plans, videos, children’s artifacts, and questionnaires. Content analysis will be employed to examine the effectiveness of the tool on children’s engagement and thinking dispositions of STEM learning. The pedagogical tool is expected to guide educators to reconstruct instructions aligned to the philosophy of STEM education, support to transfer teacher-led mode to student-led mode in teaching, as well as establish classroom environments that enable deep and rich learning experience. Copyright © 2020 International Conference on Learning and Teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Citation

Zhang, L., & Hu, X. (2020, December). A design-based study of STEM education in a Shenzhen kindergarten [Zoom]. Paper presented at the International Conference on Learning and Teaching 2020 (ICLT2020): Learning and Teaching in the 21st Century, Hong Kong, China.

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