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This interview between a researcher (Poh) and an early childhood educator (Jade) delves into pedagogical approaches to teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in an early childhood classroom setting, focusing on children aged 1 to 5 years. Jade's journey of understanding and exploring STEM teaching is a reflection of the challenges faced by many early childhood educators. The conversation highlights the significance of teacher self-efficacy and experience, as studies show that higher training in STEM results in higher confidence, leading to higher rates of implementation in the classroom. However, research indicates that early childhood educators often lack in-depth professional preparation in math and science, resulting in insufficient content knowledge and a lack of confidence to provide quality STEM experiences for young learners.
The researcher, being a scientist and science educator, provides support to Jade's efforts in integrating STEM into her practices. Additionally, collaboration with the community, including volunteers from a science museum and the university, plays a crucial role in bolstering her confidence in engaging with STEM subjects.
This interview sheds light on the importance of continuous professional development and support for early childhood educators to effectively implement STEM teaching strategies. By sharing her reflections and experiences, Jade contributes to the development and implementation of integrated pedagogies that bridge the gap between technology, pedagogy, and content. Overall, this interview showcases the transformative impact of collaborative efforts and support systems in empowering early childhood educators to confidently and effectively engage young learners in STEM education.
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