Publication Date: June 17, 2022
The premiere book in the STEM for Our Youngest Learners Series introduces the Infant Toddler Inquiry Learning Model, a new way to think about how young children (birth–age 3) explore, think, and learn STEM concepts. The book also demonstrates how the Inquiry Teaching Model can guide teachers in implementing STEM experiences for this age group. Accessible to educators from a wide range of educational backgrounds, this resource is designed specifically to help guide the integration of STEM experiences into the early childhood curriculum. Readers will see how the model works in real life; how STEM topics can be naturally embedded in daily routines and activities; and how to observe, understand, and interact with children as they explore. This accessible guide presents content and pedagogy aligned with what is known about how children learn and also addresses the challenges educators encounter when implementing STEM with infants and toddlers.
Each volume in this new series includes vignettes showing educators and children engaging in inquiry learning, guidance for selecting materials and arranging the learning environment, modifications and accommodations for diverse learners, support for establishing adult learning communities to support professional development, and more.
Beth Dykstra Van Meeteren is director of the Iowa Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education and associate professor of literacy education at the University of Northern Iowa. Sherri Peterson is program coordinator for the Iowa Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education.
“This book is a practical, meaningful, and relatable approach to early STEM learning, guided and informed by the authors’ extensive experiences and expertise and written in a style that is readily accessible to anyone caring for or nurturing infants and toddlers. The carefully selected investigations challenge adults to rethink what they know in order to recognize infants and toddlers as our youngest scientists and lay the foundation for lifelong STEM learning and development. This seminal work is destined to become a must-have resource for future generations to come!”
—Shelly Counsell, associate professor, The University of Memphis
“Investigating STEM With Infants and Toddlers (Birth–3) introduces us to an Infant Toddler Inquiry Learning Model where ‘wonder,’ ‘strategize,’ and ‘resolve’ describe overlapping processes used by these youngest learners to inquire about the world. In this book you will find structure for the educator seeking to provide environments and materials to engage infants and toddlers in exploring their world, and guidance for educator actions that are supportive of scientific inquiry experiences.”
—Peggy Ashbrook, early childhood science educator; author, Science Learning in the Early Years and Science Is Simple
“This book is a much-needed gift to the STEM education world and to infant and toddler educators everywhere. The authors take the reader on a journey of discovery, revealing the capacity of our youngest learners for STEM inquiry, thinking, and problem solving. Expansive, detailed, and authentic examples of child inquiry and interactions will resonate with educators and act as a guide for creating fascination-rich environments and experiences that are responsive to who young children are. The authors’ respect for young children and the adults who care for them shines through on every page.”
—Cindy Hoisington, early childhood STEM educator, Education Development Center
“In their book Investigating STEM with Infants and Toddlers, the editors have designed a framework for thinking about infant/toddler programs. Within that framework, they present a range of STEM activities with photographs. It is a welcome addition to the infant/toddler literature to see so many readily available materials interpreted from the perspective of how they fulfill the intentions of STEM. Bravo!”
—Ann Lewin-Benham, educator, lecturer, and author of Infants & Toddlers at Work: Using Reggio-Inspired Materials to Support Brain Development