Call for Papers - Reimagining STEM learning and development in early childhood: Play-based challenges and perspectives

Editors: Glykeria Fragkiadaki, Marilyn Fleer and Prabhat Rai (Monash University, Australia)

Advisory panel: Katerina Plakitsi (University of Ioannina, Greece), Shukla Sikder (Charles Sturt University, Australia)

Overcoming traditional or emerging dichotomies between play and learning in the early years is critical for early childhood education practice and research. Developing and implementing play-based settings in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is a recent area of interest at an international level.

This research collection aims to provide a forum in which contemporary issues in play-based pedagogies in STEM such as the critical role of imagination and creativity in STEM concept formation or the affective aspect of STEM learning and development in early childhood settings will be unpacked, fostered, and advanced.

Creating a dynamic and growing corpus of research work on this critical issue anticipates a dialogue around how to create dynamic STEM learning conditions tailored to the needs of young children and early childhood educators providing an argument against a pushed-down curriculum for STEM in early years.

Research papers that explore STEM teaching, learning, and development through play in the following broad fields will be welcomed:

  • Play theory, methodology, pedagogy, and practice 
  • Early childhood teachers professional learning and development 
  • Curriculum decision making and policy issues
  • Home settings, parental and family engagement 
  • Leaning and development in a variety of settings that STEM learning can take place such as community centers, museums, parks and gardens, playgrounds
  • Learning environments, spaces, prompts, and technologies

Papers are recommended to have a clear focus on STEM teaching, learning, and development in early years as well as an articulate application to early childhood education and care informing theory, practice, and/or policy.

Mix theoretical and empirical original studies using qualitative, quantitative, or mixed- methods approaches are welcome. A range of disciplines such as education, psychology, and cultural studies will be hosted. Multi and interdisciplinary works as well as cross-cultural works are also encouraged.

Submissions from the full spectrum of early years as well as from the STEM education professional communities are encouraged including but not limited to academics in early years and/or STEM education, child learning, and development specialists, developmental psychologists, family settings professionals, policymakers, early education supervisors and leaders, school psychologists.

This is a rolling collection and as such we welcome submissions until the end of December 2021. Authors who wish to discuss ideas for articles are asked to directly contact the guest editors direct before submission. Full papers (original or review) must be submitted via the journal’s submission system. Submissions by email cannot be accepted.