National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://journal.naeyc.org
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Math and science and the related technology and engineering are natural pairings. These four disciplines form the acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and can be readily combined into an integrated curriculum for early childhood classrooms. Many educators believe that children learn best when disciplines are interconnected. An integrated curriculum, such as STEM, is in keeping with developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood education: "Teachers plan curriculum experiences that integrate children's learning within and across the disciplines." Some adults mistakenly think that STEM activities are too challenging to integrate into preschool settings, particularly if the children have special needs. Appropriate STEM activities, however, allow young children to explore materials using all their senses. This article explores the reflective practice of a preschool early intervention teacher and a university teacher educator working to develop and incorporate a STEM-based curriculum in an inner-city, inclusive classroom. The classroom included 14 children, ages 3 through 5, of whom 12 had documented disabilities, including cognitive delays, severe language delays, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, and behavioral disorders.