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Encouraging the Development of Engineering Habits of Mind in Prekindergarten Learners

  • Christine N. LippardEmail author
  • Katie L. Riley
  • Monica H. Lamm
Chapter
Part of the Early Mathematics Learning and Development book series (EMLD)

Abstract

Experiences in early childhood set the foundation for lifelong learning. Given the integrative and applied nature of engineering and children’s natural curiosity, we suggest that prekindergarten classrooms are well suited for providing opportunities to promote the development of engineering habits of mind (EHM). Developmental theories suggest that children learn best through hands-on experiences that enable them to explore and discover concepts themselves and that others in the child’s environment can serve as active partners in exploration. Recognizing the emphasis on integrated curriculum in early childhood and the competing demands for time in preschool classrooms, we identify the EHM as an appropriate early engineering emphasis that can be embedded in everyday classroom moments. To this end, this chapter begins by pointing out connections among science, math, and engineering for early learners, highlights theories that inform our work with engineering in prekindergarten classrooms, discusses EHM in prekindergarten learners, briefly presents a pilot study of observing EHM in prekindergarten classrooms, and ends by drawing overarching conclusions and suggesting future directions for incorporating EHM into prekindergarten classrooms.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine N. Lippard
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katie L. Riley
    • 1
  • Monica H. Lamm
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biological EngineeringIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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