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Bridging Research and Practice
May 19, 2017
One is never so easily fooled as when one thinks one is fooling others.
-La Rochefoucauld
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In the May/June 2017 Exchange magazine section "Bridging Research and Practice" researcher Shelly Counsell describes her work with the Ramps & Pathways project, in which a diverse group of teachers and children actively explore basic concepts of physical science.

In a response to the research, Janet Thompson provided practical ideas and activities that college professors (and their students), administrators and early childhood educators could use to put the research into practice. Thompson acknowledges that "the STEM fields can often seem daunting to early childhood educators and families, who may feel that they themselves have inadequate background knowledge to support children’s learning in these areas." She acknowledges that this could be just as true for college students.

She provides a number of practical suggestions professors might use to help their students feel more comfortable with STEM learning. (These same ideas could be used by administrators and classroom teachers):

  • Introduce materials — such as the ramps, balls, and blocks used in this project — to your college students and ask them to explore and investigate the materials to help them recognize and understand their physical properties and capacities.
  • Encourage students to think of themselves as ‘co-explorers’ with children, particularly when experimenting with concepts and skills in the STEM curriculum domains.
  • Teach the conceptual foundations, as well as the specific strategies for scaffolding young children's learning, within a constructivist framework.




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Comments (1)

Displaying 1 Comment
Bessie Tapp
Almost home childcare
Evansville, Indiana, United States
05/20/2017 10:20 am

This article was very helpful in planning my outside experience for childcare



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