Mother Goose Cares About STEM in the Early Years

Course Number: EDU 5515 C31b/ EDU 4710 CFS5
Instructor: Meredith Wade
Location: Bradford, VT
Dates and Times: January 19 - March 1, 2019. Students meet in Bradford, VT on January 19 and February 2 from 9 am - 4 pm.
Credits: 2 graduate or undergraduate credits
Tuition: $275

Note: Please register directly with The Vermont Center for the Book. Vermont Center for the Book will then give you the link to Castleton's online registration form.

Course Description

Students will discuss and investigate concrete ways STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) provides opportunities for PreK-K children to extend their natural curiosity while providing them with direct experiences with hands-on STEM learning materials, events and ideas imperative for later learning. Participants will engage in interactive hands-on activities as they increase their understanding of STEM content with an emphasis. Topics for discussion, exploration and implementation include: What is STEM for Young Children?; Vermont Early Learning Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards and standards provided by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; Importance of adult guidance and structure; Preparing for STEM explorations; Science as a process (scientific inquiry); Using picture books; STEM environments and materials in the classroom; Conducting Action Research; STEM with families.

 

Students seeking undergraduate credit will be expected to complete a comprehensive Action Research project based on a question that will improve their practice with preschool children in their classrooms. Students will record their question and findings and systematically use research techniques during the process. Students will provide data and documentation to support their question and findings. Data/documentation may include: actual data (children’s drawings and writings, quotes, observation), literature review; reflections on the process; changes that took place throughout the process; insights; inconsistencies; conclusions/findings, and; future directions.

 

Students seeking graduate credit will be expected to complete a comprehensive and extensive action research project showing critical and creative thinking. The project should be based on a question that will improve their practice with preschool children in their classrooms. The action research question should result in in-depth study and reflection. The project should include analysis (What did you say or do? What did children say or do? What behavior did you observe? How will it inform future practice and/or exploration? What questions did you ask? What questions did children ask? How will you extend the learning? ) and show links to standards-based practice. Students will record their question and findings and systematically use research techniques during the process. Students will provide data and documentation to support their question and findings. Data/documentation will include: actual data (children’s drawings and writings, quotes, observation), literature review; reflections on the process; changes that took place throughout the process; insights; inconsistencies; conclusions/findings, and; future directions.

Audience:

Preschool educators (for children ages 3-7)

Course Goals & Objectives

Course Goals:

  • Educators will learn how to encourage and nurture children’s natural curiosity about the world around them through STEM inquiry and explorations.

 

  • Educators will learn how to intentionally incorporate the language, concepts and skills of STEM into their daily interactions with children.

 

Course Objectives:

Educators will gain knowledge and experience about how to:

  • Select materials and STEM content for STEM opportunities that are developmentally appropriate and can be explored from multiple perspectives, in depth, and over time, building on children’s curiosity and prior experiences

 

  • Use STEM practices by asking questions and fostering children’s questioning, guiding discussions, encouraging new ideas and aiding in data collection and children’s representations (drawings, etc.)

 

  • Recognize and guide children’s development of other important skills included in the VELS, including working with one another, basic large- and small-motor control, language, and early mathematical understanding while doing science

 

  • Align planning and implementation with VELS with an understanding of recent research and ideas that influence children’s science capabilities and learning

 

  • Reflect on STEM interactions with children though writings, photos and other representations (in journal and template provided by instructor)

 

  • Provide information and opportunities for families to participate in their child’s STEM learning experiences

Required Texts

Where Does My Shadow Sleep? A Guide to Exploring Science With Young Children (Sally Anderson, published by Gryphon House, 2012)

 

For additional course information

Meredith Wade
(802) 258-1115

For additional registration information

Wendy Martin
(802) 875-2751

Register online now!