NORMA eResearch @NCI Library

STEM Play & Learn- Exploring the Effects of a STEM Family Learning Summer Programme

Alcala, Alexandra, Mihalka, Ramona, Darmody, Kate and Mabika, Shingirirayi (2023) STEM Play & Learn- Exploring the Effects of a STEM Family Learning Summer Programme. In: Collaborative Action Research Network Conference (CARN). CARN, Manchester, England. (Unpublished)

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Research has shown that children can lose academic knowledge and skills when they take an extended break from education, such as summer holidays. Furthermore, disparities in academic skills between socio-economic groups are increased during the summer months, with children from lower socio-economic groups losing skills at a greater rate. Recently, the extended breaks children underwent throughout the pandemic have negatively affected children’s learning and socio-emotional well-being. This research investigates the effectiveness of a STEM Summer Family Learning project for 4–6-year-old children in a community of socio-economic disadvantage. This 6-week programme brings STEM learning directly to the home of families, with weekly 1-hour visits from specially trained Home Visitors. Families receive age-appropriate STEM related toys, books and activities, and the Home Visitor models to the parent how the resources can be used to inspire scientific inquiry. Families keep the materials to enhance the home learning environment and continue STEM learning beyond the programme. A community action research methodology informed the development and implementation of the project using the action research cycle of observe, reflect, act, evaluate, and modify. Pre- and post-programme evaluations were completed by 20 and 15 parents respectively. Indicative evidence suggests that the programme was successful in improving the children’s developmental skills and influenced the home learning environment. Results also indicate that participating on the programme increased parents’ confidence in supporting their children’s learning. The research presents a promising family learning project for early years educators to provide to mitigate summer learning loss.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > Children
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > Early childhood education
Divisions: Early Learning Initiative Publications
Depositing User: Tamara Malone
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 16:59
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2023 15:26

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