1st Edition

Developing Culturally and Developmentally Appropriate Early STEM Learning Experiences

Edited By Philip Hui Li, Anne Forbes, Weipeng Yang Copyright 2024

    This book informs best practice for enhancing young children’s STEM learning experiences in formal settings such as preschool environments and less formal settings such as home environments. It is the first collection of multidisciplinary and multinational studies on early STEM programs worldwide and presents diverse, authentic, and current STEM-relevant scenarios that address two fundamental problems: where are we in early STEM education? and where shall we go?

    The book explores factors that influence young learners’ abilities to make informed choices in authentic, problem-based, STEM-relevant scenarios and how those abilities have been identified, documented, and enhanced. Chapters address topics related to curriculum and pedagogy, teacher education and professional development, family environment, and inclusive education from a variety of international settings including Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, and the United States. Each chapter is based around a research project and describes relevant background information from the research literature, details of how the study was designed, findings from the study, and discussion as to what the findings mean for practical implementation.

    Developing Culturally and Developmentally Appropriate Early STEM Learning Experiences will be a key resource for researchers and practitioners of early childhood education and care, STEM education, educational psychology, educational research, and educational technology. This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Early Education and Development.

    1. Introduction: Developing Culturally and Developmentally Appropriate Early STEM Learning Experiences
    Hui Li, Anne Forbes and Weipeng Yang

    2. “Once Upon A Star”: A Science Education Program Based on Personification Storytelling in Promoting Preschool Children’s Understanding of Astronomy Concepts
    Jiangbo Hu, Camilla Gordon, Ning Yang and Yonggang Ren

    3. Teacher’s Role in Fostering Preschoolers’ Computational Thinking: An Exploratory Case Study
    X. Christine Wang, Youngae Choi, Keely Benson, Corinne Eggleston and Deborah Weber

    4.Engineering Play, Mathematics, and Spatial Skills in Children with and without Disabilities
    Zachary S. Gold, James Elicker, Ashleigh M. Kellerman, Sharon Christ, Aura A. Mishra and Nina Howe

    5.Mathematics Learning Opportunities in Preschool: Where Does the Classroom Library Fit In?
    Michele L. Stites, Susan Sonnenschein, Rebecca Dowling and Brittany Gay

    6. Exploring the Relationships between Scientific Epistemic Beliefs, Science Teaching Beliefs and Science-Specific PCK among Pre-Service Kindergarten Teachers in China
    Dandan Wu, Ting Liao, Weipeng Yang and Hui Li

    7. Evaluation of an Online Early Mathematics Professional Development Program for Early Childhood Teachers
    Kathleen M Sheridan and Xiaoli Wen

    8. The Influence of Parental Educational Involvement in Early Childhood on 4th Grade Students’ Mathematics Achievement
    Yiran Cui, Danhui Zhang and Frederick K. S. Leung

    9. Family Cohesion Facilitates Learning-Related Behaviors and Math Competency at the Transition to Elementary School
    Wenke Niehues, Yasemin Kisbu-Sakarya and Bilge Selcuk

    10. STEM for Inclusive Excellence and Equity
    Douglas H. Clements, Megan Vinh, Chih-Ing Lim and Julie Sarama

    11. An Analysis of the Nature of Young Students’ STEM Learning in 3D Technology-Enhanced Makerspaces
    Anne Forbes, Garry Falloon, Michael Stevenson, Maria Hatzigianni and Matt Bower


    Dr Philip Hui Li is the Chair Professor of Early Childhood Education at the Education University of Hong Kong. He obtained his PhD from the University of Hong Kong in 2000. He is the associate editor of Early Education and Development, Early Child Development and Care, and Frontiers in Psychology.

    Dr Anne Forbes is Senior Lecturer in STEM Education in the Macquarie School of Education, Australia, where she teaches in a range of units in pre-service teacher education and conducts accredited in-service teacher professional learning to enthuse, inform and inspire learning and teaching through science education. Anne has been involved in writing textbooks including the award-winning text STEM Education in the primary School: A teacher's toolkit (2021) and Primary Science Education: A teacher's toolkit (2023).

    Dr Weipeng Yang is Assistant Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. He specializes in early childhood curriculum, STEAM education and computational thinking. He is an Editor of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education and a Steering Group Member and SIG Convenor at BERA, UK.