(CS EdX Sessions) Sikder, Shukla

Title: Translating Research Understanding into Reviewing a Subject Outline

Presenter: Dr Shukla Sikder (Lecturer in Early Childhood Education)


Faculty / Division: FoAE

School / Unit: Education

Session Type: Paper

When: Thursday, 18 November 2021 @ 12:15pm – 1:15pm)

Where: https://charlessturt.zoom.us/j/61677406600


There is a growing demand to increase children’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills in schools and early childhood settings for producing STEM qualified workforce in the future (The Australian Industry Group, 2017; Bagiati and Evangelou 2016; Fleer 2020; Lippard et al. 2017). In early childhood education, free play has a long tradition in Australia, and it means educators will support them for setting up the environment or support them for answering children’s questions (Grieshaber, 2010; Pramling Samuelsson & Johansson, 2009). However, intentional teaching in play-based learning is one of the central focuses for children’s learning in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (DWEER, 2009). The EYLF describes intentional teaching as “educators being deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in their decisions and actions (DWEER, p.15)”. In particular, children’s STEM learning could be enhanced with the support of educators or adults being intentional in the play-based context as evident in the research (Campbell, 2012; Fleer, 2009; Sikder & Fleer, 2015). However, are we considering research translations into teaching practice, particularly while developing our subject outline for pre-service teachers?

One pilot project was conducted on children’s STEM learning in everyday play-based settings as part of the established cultural context.  Digital visual research methodology (Fleer & Ridgway, 2014) has been used for data collection and a total of 50 hours of video data were collected over a period of seven weeks in an early childhood centre in Australia. The pilot study has several research outcomes (Sikder, 2019; Sikder 2020) in relation to intentional teaching and play based STEM learning. What research findings has been used to review the subject outline? What strategies are considered for reviewing the subject outline for early childhood STEM related subjects for preservice teachers? The wholeness approach has been used as part of the dialectical interactive approach (Hedegaard & Fleer, 2008) to understand the strategies as part of the findings. The wholeness approach includes a combination of contemporary literature, national quality standards, theoretical positioning, and research output. It is argued shifting teaching practice from the traditional way to the innovative way depends on multiple factors, however, research translation has a positive impact.

The early findings suggest the pre-service teachers could improve their discipline knowledge with the contemporary research output and they could also access the video data remotely to understand the real-life context in the Covid19 world. The result also shows pre-service teachers might be creative and innovative while using researched-based teaching practice in their subjects. Further study is needed on how pre-service teachers carry their university learning into their teaching practices.


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Campbell, C. (2012). Learning theories related to early childhood science education. In C. Campbell & W. Jobling (Eds.), Science in early childhood (pp. 50-61). Cambridge University Press.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. (2009). Belonging, being & becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia. https://www.acecqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-02/belonging_being_and_becoming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf

Fleer, M. (2009). Understanding the dialectical relations between everyday concepts and scientific concepts within play-based programs. Research in Science Education, 39(1), 281-306. https://doi-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1007/s11165-008-9085-x

Fleer, M. (2020). Engineering PlayWorld—A model of practice to support children to collectively design, imagine and think using engineering concepts. Research in Science Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-020-09970-6    

Fleer, M. & Ridgway, A. (Eds.). (2014). Visual methodologies and digital tools for researching with young children. Switzerland: Springer.

Grieshaber, S. Departures from Tradition: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.ICEP 4, 33–44 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/2288-6729-4-2-33

Hedegaard, M., & Fleer. ,M. (2008). Principles for interpreting research protocols. In M. Hedegaard, & M. Fleer (Eds.), Studying children: A cultural-historical approach (pp. 46-64). London: Open University Press.

Lippard, C. N., Lamm, M. H., & Riley, K. L. (2017). Engineering thinking in prekindergarten children: a

systematic literature review. Journal of Engineering Education, 106(3), 454–474.

Pramling Samuelsson, I., & Johansson, E. (2009). Why do children involve teachers in their play and

learning. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 17(1), 77-94.

Sikder, S., & Fleer, M. (2015). Small science: Infants and toddlers experiencing science in everyday family life. Research in Science Education. 45 (3), pp 445-464. doi: 10.1007/s11165-014-9431-0 .

Sikder, S. (2019, July). Children’s scientific and engineering experiences are viewed in supportive cultural affordances. Paper presented at Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA) Conference, Queenstown, New Zealand. https://www.asera.org.au/2019-conference

Sikder, S. (2020, January). Studying science and engineering to help shape children’s cultural identity and belonging in play: A cultural-historical approach. Paper presented at Australian Early childhood research symposium Conference, Sydney, Australia. http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/events/ajecsymposium/

The Australian Industry Group (June, 2017). Strengthening School: Industry STEM Skills partnership. https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/sites/default/files/AiGroup_OCS_STEM_Report_2017.pdf