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Development of a STEM based engineering design curriculum for parental involvement in early childhood education

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2019
Ata Aktürk, Aysu
The purpose of the current study was to design and develop a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) based engineering design curriculum that addresses to preschool children, parents, and preschool teachers (EDCPI). In this context, the first aim of this study was to identify the key design principles in designing a STEM-based engineering design curriculum for parental involvement (PI) in early childhood education. The second aim was to explore the possible contributions of the developed curriculum to preschool children, parents, and preschool teachers. In line with the purposes of the study, design-based research methodology was utilized, and the study was carried out in three iterative phases: preliminary research, prototyping, and assessment. The designed content was revised, evaluated, and redesigned through three different iteration cycles in the prototyping phase of the study. The study was conducted with participants from two different public schools in Kastamonu. Findings validated eight main characteristics of EDCPI identified in the relevant literature and revealed that EDCPI made a wide variety of contributions to preschool children, parents, and preschool teachers. Based on the findings obtained from the study, it can be concluded that EDCPI can be helpful not only in supporting preschoolers’ STEM-related learnings but also in building a bridge between families and schools. Therefore, the curriculum designed and developed within the scope of the current study provides a new and alternative way for the integration of STEM into preschool settings and for PI in early childhood education.