STEM Integrated Curriculums in Early Childhood Education: An Exploration of Teachers’ Pedagogical Beliefs and Practices

Sara Movahedazarhouligh, Hengameh Kermani, Jale Aldemir



Young children are perfectly adapted to learning STEM concepts. A growing body of research indicates that experiences with science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are critical in preparing young children to think critically, creatively, and solve problems. These are valuable skills young children need to succeed in school, work, and life. This raising awareness of STEM education needs has led to a push for STEM integration in early childhood (EC) settings while giving limited attention to the teaching of STEM in the EC field and targeted STEM professional development programs. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the EC teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and practices about STEM integrated curriculums and STEM teaching in pre-K settings after attending a series of STEM integration teacher professional development programs. The data collected from interviews with EC teachers revealed that they were positively impacted by the STEM-integrated professional development, resources, and materials available to implement the STEM units. According to the teachers’ beliefs, children were also positively impacted by their teacher’s professional learning and high confidence in teaching STEM-related topics and activities.  A discussion of the findings and implications for future research and practice is presented.

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