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Links to research and academic articles related to STEAM, STEM & technology and ECEC.

"What if young students could explore science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM) subjects through autonomous and creative play? What if children were treated like artists and encouraged to formulate and explore their thoughts, theories, and ideas starting at the age of 4? What if educators relinquished their traditional roles as instructors and assumed more guiding roles as facilitators? This article explores STEAM and the joy early childhood students experienced from creativity, autonomy, and play through forest kindergartens, a child-centered approach found in Europe. Child-centered approaches to learning parallel real-world techniques used by artists, scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. Because no career choice or discipline is completely isolated or siloed, the interdependence among the STEAM subjects mirrors real-life scenarios. In essence, by providing a variety of possibilities in each learning experience, STEAM education can inspire a sense of joy, engagement, and eagerness to learn in students." (Hunter-Doniger, 2021). Access the article here.

"For many in early chil- hood education, STEAM is a new term. It began in this decade as STEM,an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These curriculum areas have become a major focus in education because of the concern that the United States is falling behind in scienti c innovation." (Sharapan, 2012). Access the article here.

"STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education has received growing attention over the past decade, primarily within the middle and high school levels. This article focuses on the need for STEAM education at the early childhood level. " (DeJarnette, 2018). Access the article here.

"This systematic review synthesises research reporting on the effectiveness of STEAM interventions in formal and informal settings and reports on the characteristics of these interventions" (Leavy et. al, 2022). Access the paper here.

"This article is based on a meta-approach to the results of two separate studies and concerns the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) in early childhood education. One of the studies focuses on how preschool teachers understand STEM and how it is taught in the preschool. The other concerns children’s perspectives and strategies in their use of digital technology as part of the preschool’s arts activities" (Magnusson and Bäckman, 2020). Access the paper here.

"This report presents the findings of an evaluation of digital learning, conducted by the Inspectorate of the Department of Education and Skills, in a sample of early learning and care (ELC) settings, primary schools and post-primary schools, during the period January to December 2019" (DES, 2020). Access the report here.

Position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Washington which was published as a guide for educators on the use of technology and digital media in early childhood.  Click here.

Article addressing the amount of time that children spend playing on technological activities versus outdoor play and non-technology play.  Access the article here.

Research paper on the effect of digital media technologies on child social, emotional and moral development.  Click here to read.

"We believe that blending interactive technology and personal interactions with others offers the most promise for using technology as a tool for whole child development in the digital age." (Donohue & Schomburg, 2017).


Article published in NAEYC's Young Minds magazine in 2017 entitled "Technology and Interactive Media in Early Childhood Programs: What We’ve Learned from Five Years of Research, Policy, and Practice".  Access it here.

Children are accessing technology from a very young age, this publication addresses the "How Much is Just Right?" in relation to young children and technology use.  Access this publication here.

Systematic literature review looking at the readiness of ECEC practitioners in China to integrate digital technologies into their practice with practitioner education on utilising technology and levels of confidence being contributing factors to the findings.  Click here to access.

"This study illustrates the level of digital competence of students of the Undergraduate Degree in Early Childhood Education of the University of Salamanca (Spain), with special focus on the variables of knowledge, use and attitude towards ICT".  Results of this research found that student practitioners did not possess the required level of digital competence to effectively use digital technology and ICT in their academic and professional lives. (Martín et al, 2019). Access this research here.

Study based on the experiences of ECEC practitioners in Shanghai, China's largest city, aiming to examine practitioners views and perspectives on technology in ECEC.  Findings suggest obstacles that may impede effective use of technology in the curriculum include practitioner literacy in information technology, lack of resources and the developmental needs of the children.  Access this publication here.

"Findings from the study demonstrated that parents’ own screen time behaviors, leaving the TV on whether it was being watched or not and restricting outdoor play were associated with higher children’s TV viewing in the home environment. This knowledge is essential to inform future interventions aimed to address the increase in screen time among young children" (Bassu et al, 2021).  Access this publication here.

Research study on the movement from paper based observation and documentation of children's learning to digital documentation through e-portfolios and online learning journeys.  Finding suggest that digital documentation provides new possibilities for capturing children's learning and can increase access for child and parental engagement.  However, the research also found that there is a danger of current digital tools for documentation, which can be centred around the needs of the adult practitioner, under-representing the child's voice.  The research calls for increased research in this area (Cowan & Flewitt, 2021).  Read the full article here.

A ‘Goldilocks amount’ of time spent online could be good for teenagers’ wellbeing, according to new research from Trinity College Dublin.  Access this publication here.

"Using latent class modelling, this paper attempted to combine both time based and behavioural based digital media usage into a single exposure and examine its associations with psychiatric symptoms" (Brannigan et al, 2022).

Key points from this academic blog article:

"– Young children can master a range of computational thinking concepts and skills at an emergent level, which can help these children be more equipped for their future.
– Computational thinking in early childhood education must rely on tools and approaches that are developmentally appropriate for young learners.
– Early exposure to computational thinking is also important to prevent stereotypes and ensure all young children have equal opportunities to develop their digital literacy". Click here to read it.

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