Issues and challenges for the implementation of preschool stream education: What do the preschool teachers say?
Keywords:preschool STREAM education, perspectives, pre-service preschool teachers, in-service preschool teachers
Preschool STREAM education is a philosophy and guiding principle. It is a way of thinking towards multidisciplinary approach, in which Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics are integrated in the early childhood programme to provide the young children with a well-rounded education and equipped them with the 21st century skills. In this aspect, preschool teachers’ perceptions towards the implementation of STREAM education are crucial for the sustainability of STREAM education now and then. In this study, the objectives are to investigate preschool teachers’ perceptions towards STREAM implementation, the challenges of implementing STREAM education, as well as to examine the differences between pre-service and in-service teachers’ perspectives towards the implementation of STREAM education. For this study, a quantitative research design was adopted. The data was collected through a questionnaire survey and analysed using SPSS software, which was used to obtain descriptive statistics and perform t-tests. The participants involved 80 preschool teachers (40 pre-service; 40 in-service) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. A questionnaire of 35-item was used. The result revealed that most participants have positive perceptions towards preschool STREAM education approach. However, the report indicated that there are differences between in-service and pre-service teachers in regards of the challenges in implementing preschool STREAM education. Moreover, the lack of teachers’ expertise and professional training to integrate and implement STREAM learning activities are the main issues and concern of the in-service teachers. These findings suggested that teachers need training with relevant resources and effective materials for easy integration of content teaching and learning to sustain STREAM education as a frame of mind for effective implementation and desired learning outcomes.
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