The design and validation of an early childhood STEM classroom observational protocol

2016-10-31T23:03:39Z (GMT) by Milford, Todd Tippett, Christine
Across K-12 education, there has been recent attention to the learning opportunities available to students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning. Early childhood education (ECE) has been excluded from this process. The scholarly literature contains good evidence for including science teaching and learning at the ECE level, however, little is currently known about how a STEM curriculum might best be implemented in the early years. Additionally, data collection tools specifically developed for ECE STEM are limited. In this paper, we outline the steps we have taken to design and validate a classroom observation protocol (COP) intended to capture aspects of STEM instruction in an early childhood setting and to help educators envision and adjust their own teaching practices. The detailed explanation of the development and validation of this data collection tool offers other educators and researchers a path for collecting evidence of STEM practices in their own classrooms and/or research environments.

International Research in Early Childhood Education, vol. 6, no. 1, p. 24-37