Effects of Workshops on the Early Childhood Educators' Perceptions of STEM Practices
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This study aimed at exploring the effects of early STEM workshops on preschool teachers’ perceptions of STEM practices in the early childhood classroom. The research adopted a concurrent triangulation strategy with maximum variation/heterogeneous purposive sampling.The participants of the study are 44 preschool teachers who participated in a STEM workshop designed for preschool teachers. The study utilized two instruments for data collection. For the quantitative data, a survey and a rubric to score the survey is developed and the qualitative data is collected by a semi-structured interview form developed by the researcher. Paired samples t-test was performed to determine if preschool teachers’ perceptions about early childhood STEM education differed after the STEM workshop they participated. The analysis revealed that preschool teachers’ perceptions of early STEM education changed significantly (p = .000, N = 44) from pre to post-survey. Thematic analysis was employed to examine the qualitative data. Findings of the thematic analysis revealed that both the preschool teachers’ views about the effects of STEM workshops and their recommendations for an effective STEM workshop fall under six categories. The contribution of this study to the field is to provide quantitative data on the effect of STEM workshops on preschool teachers' perceptions of early STEM practices and to determine the needs of preschool teachers to improve STEM implementations in their classrooms. The research concludes with the discussion of its findings and recommendations for further research.
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