Early Childhood Education Journal
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Published By Springer-Verlag

1573-1707, 1082-3301

Natalie Spadafora ◽  
Caroline Reid-Westoby ◽  
Molly Pottruff ◽  
Jade Wang ◽  
Magdalena Janus

AbstractWhen the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, the lives of families all over the world were disrupted. Many adults found themselves working from home while their children were unable to go to school. To better understand the potential impact of these educational disruptions, it is important to establish what learning looked like during the first school shutdown in the spring of 2020, particularly for the youngest learners who may feel the longest lasting impacts from this pandemic. Therefore, the purpose of the current descriptive study was to gather information on how kindergarten teaching and learning occurred during this time, what the biggest barriers were, and what concerns educators had regarding returning in person to the classroom setting. The sample for the current study was 2569 kindergarten educators (97.6% female; 74.2% teachers, 25.8% early childhood educators) in Ontario, Canada. Participants completed a questionnaire consisting of both quantitative scales and qualitative open-ended questions. Educators reported that parents most often contacted them regarding technological issues or how to effectively support their child. The largest barrier to learning was the ability of both parents and educators to balance work, home life, and online learning/teaching. With regards to returning to school, educators were most concerned about the lack of ability of kindergarten aged children to do tasks independently and to follow safety protocols. Our findings highlight unique challenges associated with teaching kindergarten during the pandemic, contributing to our understanding of the learning that occurred in Ontario during the first COVID-19 shutdown.

Ahlam A. Alghamdi

AbstractThis study explores Saudi teachers’ beliefs about STEAM education in early childhood education settings. The study sample consisted of 245 teachers working in kindergartens. The participants completed a survey comprising twelve items to elaborate teachers’ beliefs toward implementing STEAM practices in their classrooms, as well as four close-ended questions to evaluate teachers’ knowledge of and familiarity with the terminology of STEAM education and their professional training in STEAM-related content. The findings reveal overall positive beliefs toward STEAM education for young children and rather moderate beliefs regarding the implementation of STEAM practices. The results also reveal that teachers were somewhat familiar with the term STEAM; however, they reported limited knowledge of the integration process and basic strategies and skills needed for its implementation. The results also demonstrate that the majority of the Saudi teachers participating in this study believed they needed additional professional development and training regarding STEAM implementation. A chi-square test indicated statistically significant associations between teachers’ knowledge of STEAM education and their beliefs and between teachers’ previous professional training in STEAM education and their beliefs. The implications and future recommendations are also discussed.

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