Interest in STEM fields are declining in most of the EUROPEAN countries, but STEM fields are critical for European countries to sustain research and innovation driven economies. Therefore, there has been an emerging gap between the demand of STEM skilled individuals and existing number of individuals in the field of STEM who lead the growth of Europe among the competitive innovative based economies. Keeping in mind that the perceptions towards STEM subjects has been constructed as early as the beginning of kindergarten education, STEM in early childhood education has been less explored (Tippett & Mildford, 2017). Exploring the STEM in early childhood education would capitalize better practices of STEM starting from primary level to higher education level. While several researches have been undertaken to increase pupils’ interest in STEM specifically starting from primary level, research has reported that science achievement gap between children coming from high and low socio economic status has come into existence by at the start of kindergarten and continued until at the end of eight grade (Morgan et. al., 2017). Therefore, socio- economic inequality, arouse one of the main issue to hinder engagement in STEM fields for the children starting from pre-K level. In addition to economic inequality, parent involvement has been come out another issue which is critical to STEM interest of kids. Research revealed strong relationship between family involvement and child’s academic career. That is, Families are key endeavor to attain high level of kids’ academic achievement in addition to teachers’ efforts (Bixler, 2016; Miller, 2015). Consequently, it is obvious that families have in huge role in their child’s education, and their understanding and attitudes towards STEM will influence their children engagement in STEM fields. Therefore, family involvement in STEM education for children from lower socioeconomic status, has huge potential to broaden diversity pupils’ engagement in field leading greater diversity within STEM education and careers. The overall goal of this project is to increase family involvement in STEM education process of early childhood students specifically coming from low socio-economic status. In this project we will try improving early childhood teachers’ competencies to encourage families to support their kids’ STEM education process in a more concrete way to understand how quality of interaction between families and teachers regarding STEM will capitalize STEM studies for latter levels. By this way, quality and sustainability of education will be also fostered by providing education continuity at home which is another long-lasting beneficiary of the project. Specifically, in this project we will concentrating on early childhood teachers’ conceptual and practical STEM competencies to counteract the early onset of STEM biases during the pre-school years. Providing early childhood teachers with conceptual and practical guidebooks on Family Involvement in STEM would be beneficiary for both early childhood educators, children that these educators are working with and parents of those children.
|Effective start/end date||1/09/18 → 31/08/21|