Perspectives on the Finnish Early Years STEAM Education : Reflecting on the Avant-Garde

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Hilppö , J , Vartiainen , J & Silander , P 2022 , Perspectives on the Finnish Early Years STEAM Education : Reflecting on the Avant-Garde . in S Tunnicliffe & T Kennedy (eds) , Play and STEM Education in the Early Years: International Policies and Practices. . Springer Nature Switzerland , pp. 219-235 . https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99830-1_11

Title: Perspectives on the Finnish Early Years STEAM Education : Reflecting on the Avant-Garde
Author: Hilppö, Jaakko; Vartiainen, Jenni; Silander, Pasi
Other contributor: Tunnicliffe, Sue
Kennedy, Teresa
Contributor organization: Department of Education
Learning, Culture & Interventions (LECI)
University of Helsinki
Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland
Date: 2022-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Play and STEM Education in the Early Years: International Policies and Practices.
ISBN: 978-3-030-99829-5
978-3-030-99830-1
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99830-1_11
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/345936
Abstract: Skills needed to live in our current societies are rapidly changing. How will we provide children with the skills they will need in the future? While early years education has been traditionally strong in supporting 21st century skills like creativity, collaboration and problem-solving within play, new demands such as fostering digital skills and computational thinking challenge current practices and methods and call us as researchers and educators to urgently rethink and re-design how such skills could be advanced in early childhood education. Over the recent years, the Finnish educational system has enjoyed intense national and international attention, and the Early Childhood Education and Care sector along with it. This has resulted in multiple descriptions and attempts to characterize its main differences from other national systems. The Finnish early years education has been heralded, for example, for its holistic orientation to children’s care, and education as well as its focus on playful learning approaches and participatory culture. However, despite these positive characterizations and the arguably great potential of the Finnish pre-primary education for offering children with rich opportunities to engage in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning, early childhood educators are still cautious to implement STEAM and phenomenon-based learning. In this chapter, we will present three distinctive approaches to early STEAM education developed in Finland, namely 1) phenomenon-based learning, 2) children’s maker-spaces and 3) children’s projects. In addition, we will also discuss and draw out suggestions on how these approaches could potentially address the above concerns regarding Finnish early years STEAM education.The skills needed to live in our current societies are rapidly changing. How will we provide children with the skills they will need in the future? While early years education has been traditionally strong in supporting 21st century skills like creativity, collaboration and problem-solving within play, global crises around the ecological, social and economic sustainability of our societies challenge current practices and call on us as researchers and educators to rethink how these and other skills, like computational thinking, could be advanced in early childhood education via science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education. Over recent years, the Finnish educational system has enjoyed intense national and international attention, the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector along with it. This has resulted in multiple descriptions and attempts to characterize Finnish education’s main differences from other national systems. Finnish early years education has been heralded for its holistic orientation to children’s care and education, as well as its focus on playful learning approaches and participatory culture. However, despite these positive characterizations and the arguably great potential of the Finnish pre-primary education for offering children with rich opportunities to engage in STEAM learning, early childhood educators are still cautious in implementing STEAM and phenomenon-based learning. In this chapter, we will present three distinctive approaches to early STEAM education developed in Finland, namely 1) phenomenon-based learning, 2) children’s maker-spaces and 3) children’s projects. In addition, we will also discuss how these approaches build on the current form of Finnish ECEC and draw out suggestions on how these approaches could potentially address the above concerns regarding Finnish early years STEAM education.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
STEAM
ECEC
Innovations
Early childhood education
STEM
Phenomenon-based learning
Twenty-first century skills
STEAM
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: embargoedAccess
Self-archived version: submittedVersion
Full text embargoed until: 2024-06-21
Funder: SUOMEN AKATEMIA
Grant number:


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