Storybook STEM Convening
In December of 2019, TERC and the University of Notre Dame convened a group of 21 early childhood reading, family learning, and informal STEM education experts to explore the role of children’s fiction books as a tool for supporting STEM learning with young children and their families. Participants included educators and researchers from across the country representing a broad range of learning contexts, professional roles, audience focus areas, and STEM discipline expertise.
Through the discussions, the group developed a series of recommendations for future work, with a particular focus integrating diversity and equity perspectives into the use of storybooks for family STEM learning. Participants challenged researchers and educators to:
- Rethink how stories are developed, including how families and scholars of color are represented and involved in the process of creating and selecting stories;
- Rethink what we mean by stories by connecting with both written and oral story traditions and creating space for families to tell their own stories;
- Rethink our relationships with families by engaging them as key stakeholders throughout the development, implementation, and research process;
- Rethink how we measure success, including broadening our notion of STEM learning, connecting STEM and literacy, and attending to the goals of parents and children; and
- Rethink the connection between research and practice by better sharing what we already know and involving educators and other practitioners as partners in the research process.