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Conceptual PlayWorlds for increasing girls’ engagement in STEM: A cultural-historical study of the professional development of early childhood teachers for practice change

posted on 23.08.2021, 03:21 by TANYA STEPHENSON
Much attention has been given to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in recent years following concerns about the continually small number of people working towards STEM-related careers, and the underrepresentation of women in STEM. Offering appropriate STEM experiences in early childhood can develop a strong foundation for supporting children’s continued success in STEM at future levels. Drawing upon the cultural-historical theory, this study argues that the Conceptual PlayWorld model is a promising model of practice for developing the STEM practices of teachers towards meeting the societal demands for increased STEM outcomes in the early years and for supporting girls’ STEM engagement, taking a positive step towards altering the current situation of underrepresentation of girls and women in STEM.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Marilyn Fleer

Additional supervisor 1

Glykeria Fragkiadaki

Additional supervisor 2

Prabhat Rai

Additional supervisor 3

Corine Rivalland

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Education

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