Learning mathematics through STEM in a play based classroom
STEM Education in Primary Classrooms: Unravelling Contemporary Approaches in Australia and New Zealand
School of Education / Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research
This chapter explores how STEM education might be implemented in early years classrooms. Additional to highlighting the possibilities of teaching an interdisciplinary subject area for promoting quality STEM education, the chapter focuses on how play based approaches adopted in the teaching of a STEM unit can promote specific discipline concept development. Using an example from one case study in Western Australia we show how the early years teacher created an environment where the children in her class were able to actively engage in STEM learning. Overall the teacher used a play based approach but within that framework there were some activities that were more teacher directed and also those where the teacher acts as a facilitator to guide the children’s play. Although the children were only 3-4 years old, through engaging in these approaches, the teacher was able to intentionally teach mathematical concepts as part of an interdisciplinary STEM learning sequence.