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Developmentally Appropriate STEM: It is STREAM!

by Dan Gartrell
May/June 2016
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/developmentally-appropriate-stem-it-is-stream!/5022952/

(Science, Technology, Relationships, Engineering, Arts, and Math)*

*Thanks to Thea Blair for sharing the term “STREAM.” Thanks also to Lilian Katz, who back in the “Academic Eighties” famously said that the 3 Rs need a fourth, “Relationships.”

From time to time in American education there occurs a nationwide push for a new teaching emphasis or a new curriculum approach. Those who initiate are usually well-intended educators, policy makers, and politicians who grab an idea ‘whose time has come’ and decide that, yes, this is what American students need! Business interests tied to the education world are glad for any new push, of course, because they can then produce new curriculum guides, activity books, and textbooks relating to the trend. STEM education (education in and for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is now such a push. Another continuing and long overdue national push is for high-quality preschool education.

Many early childhood colleagues and I are concerned about the current trend regarding STEM. The reason has nothing to do with a primary and laudatory intent of STEM: to help more girls become competent in and committed to professions in the sciences. We know that the potential of young ...

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