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Executive summary: STEM starts early: Grounding science, technology, engineering, and math education in early childhood

Resource Type: Executive Summary
Author(s): McClure, Elisabeth R.; Guernsey, Lisa; Clements, Douglas H.; Bales, Susan N.; Nichols, Jennifer; Kendall-Taylor, Nat; Levine, Michael H.;
Date Issued: Winter 2017
Publisher(s): Joan Ganz Cooney Center; New America Foundation
Description: The barriers to STEM learning for young children are more complex, subtle, and pervasive than decision-makers currently realize. For example, in December 2013, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Smithsonian Institution, and Education Development Center cohosted a STEM Smart workshop to reach early childhood practitioners. Participants were delighted to learn of evidence-based practices and tools, but many declared that they felt too constrained by current school structures and policies to apply what they were learning. They voiced concerns about the misapplication of new education standards, disconnects between preschool and elementary school practices, and an underprepared workforce. In response to these concerns and the growing scientific consensus about the importance of early STEM learning, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and New America embarked on an exploratory project, funded by the NSF, to: (a) better understand the challenges to and opportunities in STEM learning as documented in a review of early childhood education research, policy, and practice; (b) make recommendations to help stimulate research and policy agendas; and (c) encourage collaboration between pivotal sectors to implement and sustain needed changes. We also accounted for new research on widely held public assumptions about what young children need and how they learn, assumptions that may be barriers to progress. This report is the culmination of those efforts. (author abstract)
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Funder(s): National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Source: New York, NY: Joan Ganz Cooney Center. Retrieved from http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/jgcc_stemstartsearly_execsum_final-1.pdf
Note: Contributions were made by Peggy Ashbrook and Cindy Hoisington.
Topics: Programs, Interventions & Curricula > Interventions/Curricula > Other Specialized Interventions/Curricula
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