STEM in Early Childhood Education

MQF Level 6


STEM in Early Childhood Education

October 2024
Module Type
ECTS Credits

Module Description

This module introduces course participants to the integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings. It emphasizes the significance of STEM for developing young children’s problem-solving and critical thinking skills through real-world learning situations.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding STEM in ECE: Participants will explore the role and potential of STEM in enhancing developmentally appropriate activities and enriching authentic learning experiences.
  • Teaching Approaches: The module covers various ways young children encounter STEM concepts, including naturalistic, informal, and teacher-led approaches. These methods help capitalize on children’s innate curiosity and initiative.
  • Interdisciplinary Integration: It advocates for an integrated approach to teaching STEM subjects, often expanded to STEAM (including Arts) to foster creativity alongside analytical skills.
  • Practical Application: Participants will learn about key proponents, current research in ECE STEM education, and effective strategies for engaging young learners in STEM-related activities that build foundational skills for future educational and economic success.

Participants will finish the module prepared to apply STEM concepts effectively in ECE settings, leveraging young children’s natural tendencies towards inquiry and exploration to enhance their educational outcomes.

Entry Requirements

Candidates who apply for this course will possess:

  • A full qualification at MQF level 4 in Early Childhood Education and SEC/Ordinary Level passes in Mathematics, English and Maltese.


  • 2 Advanced Level passes and 2 Intermediate Level passes including 2 subjects from Mathematics, English, Maltese.
    A pass at SEC/Ordinary Level in the subject that is not presented at advanced/intermediate level from the 3 specified above.
  • In the case of students who do not possess all the formal required academic qualifications, then the RPL process could be applied such that if evidence of equivalent learning, related to the area of study of this programme, is found then the applicant could still be accepted in the course. Such RPL process will subject applicants to an interview held with a board of experts within the field, chosen specifically by IDEA Academy, so as to verify their experiences and prior learning.

IDEA Academy’s RPL policy can be accessed through this link

Furthermore, it will be advised to students at entry point that before going on placements, they will need to be in possession of:

  • The POMA (Protection of Minors Application) certificate.
  • A first-aid certificate prior to commening placement practice.
  • A valid police conduct certificate.



Target Audience

This programme has the following target groups:

  • Individuals who are approaching the field of Early Childhood Education.
  • Individuals who have been working in the field as a means of capacity building.
  • Individuals looking to advance to Kindergarten Educator III role.

Module / Unit Instruction

The proposed structure comprises a blended approach promoting the building of a community of practice via peer-to-peer learning.

The structure uses primarily two dimensions of teaching-learning modes: · Face-to-face sessions: 18h · Online Learning Activities: 12h.

Face-to-face sessions include lectures, tutorials, discussions, presentations, and workshop activities promoting peer-to-peer learning.

Online Learning Activities incorporate tutorials and asynchronous discussions. These may consist of active interaction, participation, and contributions in fora discussions, sharing resources and self-reflection exercises.

Learners also contribute to the building of the community of practice by providing feedback to their peers as critical friends, enhancing the learner’s critical engagement throughout the study period.

The tutor provides continual support during both teaching-learning modes by providing information, readings, and tasks relevant to the module in question.

The tutor provides continuous formative feedback as an on-going guidance during the student’s learning experience in preparation for their summative assessment.

How you’ll be assessed

For this module, the assigned lecturer is guided to develop and assign a minimum of two assessment tasks, one of which should happen during the module to allow for formative feedback. Once the assessment tasks are developed by the lecturer, these go through a rigourous internal verification process to make sure that they are subject, level, and load appropriate.

All formative and summative tasks aim to provide the learner with an opportunity to produce evidence of his/her competences aligned to the learning outcomes of the modules and enhance his/her learning in the process.

Furthermore, the tasks may include different forms of assessment which allow and promote students’ knowledge in the area, critical engagement and other transversal skills that are required in the field (e.g., online discussions, in-class discussions, case studies, etc.).

The module consist of two assessments, each carrying a weighting as is below recommended:

a. Assessment 1 carries 40% of total module mark achieved. b. Assessment 2 carries 60% of total module mark achieved.

The overall grade achieved for this module is calculated as the sum of: · 40% of the mark achieved for Assessment 1; and · 60% of the mark achieved for Assessment 2.

a) Assessment 1 will be conducted in the form of an individual project where course participants design learning tools which promote a hands-on concrete and pictorial approach to STEM.

b) Assessment 2  will be conducted in the form of a 1,500-word assignment whereby the course participants need to show a thorough understanding of STEM education.

For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve an overall pass mark of 50%


Module Intake Dates

October 2024

Learning Outcomes


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the responsibility and autonomy to:

  • Enable an understanding of the main elements of STEM education.
  • Assess the role of young children within STEM education.
  • Extend the learning outcomes of the LOF to incorporate an inquiry-based STEM approach.
  • Conduct a review of the current STEM practices which are happening in ECE settings in Malta.
  • Conduct and record observations before designing learning moments related to STEM.
  • Reflect on how STEM education allows for varied opportunities to document, design, and promote learning.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and desk research about STEM education and its origins.
  • Design a learning environment which is conducive to STEM education.
  • Design meaningful hands-on experiences which induce STEM learning.


At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Consolidate knowledge about STEM education by learning about pedagogical tools which may be used to promote this.
  • Learn about ways in how the Emergent Curriculum can be introduced within the ECE setting employing STEM education.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how STEM education allows for meaningful learning moments within ECE.
  • Learn about ways in how various stakeholders (e.g. ECE practitioners, parents, etc) can be informed about STEM education and its benefits.
  • Be able to explain how to include the lived experiences and interests of young children within STEM education.
  • Learn about ways in how STEM education can contribute towards the holistic development of young children.
  • Learn about key documentation, both on the EU and local level, about STEM education for young children.
  • Consolidate knowledge about the benefits and challenges of STEM education incorporated within ECE.
  • Recognise how young children’s lived experiences, including those at home, present opportunities for the development of STEM education.
  • Explain key concepts within STEM education which are relevant to ECE.
  • Consolidate a STEM-approach in the EY setting by designing hands-on tasks which promote concrete and pictorial pedagogies.


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the following skills:

  • Design learning spaces which are conducive to STEM education.
  • Strengthen the practice of using various pedagogical tools, such as observations and reflections, during STEM-induced projects.
  • Reflect on how flexible the role of the practitioner needs to be when planning and preparing activities related to STEM education.
  • Design activities which promote critical thinking.
  • Design or choose specific resources which can be used during STEM-induced projects.
  • Document the development of young children when acquiring ideas which can be used for STEM education.
  • Build STEM education projects by observing the young children’s interests through play-based learning.
  • Plan for an array of activities (adult-initiated, adult-led, child-initiated, child-led) which promote attention to STEM education.
  • Design activities to enhance young children’s STEM skills.
  • Make use of visual and auditory resources to develop young children’s knowledge with regards to numbers and letters through technology.
  • Make use of basic experiments to impart scientific knowledge onto young children.
  • Use interactive games to introduce young children to basic engineering concepts.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will be able to:

  • Find ways how to help young learners engage in STEM education.
  • Foster a positive attitude towards experimenting with STEM education through inquiry-based and problem-based learning.
  • Discuss various myths related to STEM education and present various arguments to counter-discuss such myths.
  • Develop terminology which is usually used in STEM education.
  • Select and review digital tools which are commonly used in STEM education.
  • Consolidate an understanding of how STEM education promotes holistic education within an Early Years setting.
  • Explore how STEM education prepares young children for lifelong learning.
  • Make use of play and adequate resources to introduce children to basic mathematical concepts such as volume, capacity, height, and weight.
  • Practice counting with the children through the use of resources such as coins.
  • Enhance children’s sorting and classifying skills through the use of size, colour, and forms.
  • Make use of resources such as food/fruit to introduce children to the concepts of adding and subtracting.

Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences:

At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Carry out academic research on websites (e.g. Google Scholar) or journals (e.g. EBSCO, Taylor & Francis, SAGE, etc).
  • Navigate the internet for policy documents and other documents related to STEM education in ECE.
  • Navigate through the online learning platform to download and upload assignments, discussion boards, literature, tutorials etc.
  • Use basic Microsoft office (or equivalent) applications to write and submit assignments.
  • Use different digital tools to promote STEM education in ECE.
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