Topic

Developmental Domain and Critical Areas

Topic Progress:

In early childhood education, teaching and learning often revolves around developmental domains. Programming revolves around supporting children’s development across these domains. Another perspective is to consider critical learning areas when programming. For a comprehensive learning plan, children’s development and learning must be considered. When children are playing outdoors, if the environment is correct, they can engage all developmental domains. When early learning teachers plan with intention, they provide experiences focused on multiple critical learning areas.

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In addition to domains, early learning teachers consider critical learning areas when programming. What do you think these are and why are they important? Jot down some ideas to create a numbered list. How many critical learning areas for children did you identify?

Click on the words below to compare your list:

Critical Learning Areas



Literacy
Numeracy
Technology

Science
Art
Music

Physical Development
Health Development
Play



Yes, plcourse11-lesson1-topic4-photo1ay is a critical learning area! It is important to integrate exploration, play and peer interaction into programming (OECD, 2013). Research findings suggest that “social pretend play” and “child-initiated play” lead to better co-operation, self-regulation and interpersonal skills (Bodrova and Leong, 2010; Nicolopoulou, 2010). When children have the opportunity to initiate their own play, it leads to symbolic representation (Bodrova and Leong, 2010). Consider the opportunities for pretend play that this planned and purposeful set up in the forest might encourage?

An interesting way to consider critical learning areas is to focus on the acronyms of STEM, STEAM and STREAM. What do these letters stand for? You will find out by clicking on the words below the graphic.

STEM

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. These have been considered core learning areas for the 21st century.


STEAM

Advocates for arts-based learning have called for the integration of the Arts (Robelen, 2011).


STREAM

Now we have competing acronyms as others have called for the inclusion of Reading into the core learning areas. Read more at: http://www.internationalinnovation.com/stem-steam-or-stream/

Is there something missing here? What about relationships? Where do they fit in? Discuss your impressions of STEM, STEAM and STREAM and what may be missing in these acronyms taking over the educational world in the comment box below.

Comments

  1. Christine Norman

    STEM and STEAM activities are great for children to explore and have a lot of value. I had never heard of STREAM before. Ideas are always changing and are a process. I believe there are a few areas of development that are missing such as relationships, communication, emotional learning, etc. I don’t think all planning for a centre can be focused on one main concept of development.

  2. Angela George

    i love the stem and steam projects that i have found online when i have the time to get all the pieces i need for the projects, they really capture the chidren and they are completely engaged and have discovered another way of learning of doing!

  3. Jasmine Park

    I believe children’s social emotional development is also very important. Math, engineering, tech and science skills are totally based only on cognitive skills. I think children need to learn how to express and regulate their emotions, build relationship and socialize with others.

  4. Jennifer Yarmish

    While I think all of the concepts of STEM/STEAM/STREAM are important, I think social/emotional, communication, self-awareness/value concepts are equally as important to focus on. Particularly in a world that is so Tech focused, we need to help our children be successful and confident human beings from the inside out.

  5. Nikki Littlechild

    Stem, steam, stream feels very text book. It doesn’t incorporate relationship, social-emotional capacity, self regulation and communication. I’m sure there’s more to add but those are just examples.

  6. Carrie Maclellan 

    I don’t think STEM, STEAM OR STREAM are very holistic. I think spirituality , social and emotional are important to add into this as it feels very academic and the whole self goes much further than academics for overall growth and well being

  7. Heather Diewert

    When thinking about STEM, STEAM and STREAM, I feel that they are only dealing with academic areas of development.
    The problem to me is that when applying any curriculum, we are working with the norms. No two children are the same. They learn different, think different, come from different cultures, have different needs…. We need to consider whether a child needs to develop Empathy,/Autonomy/Communication/Environmental Awareness….T
    The 3 S curriculum is a great starting point but perhaps instead of adding more letters to the acronyms, we need to be flexible and adaptive to meet every child where they are at.

  8. Heather Diewert

    In addition to domains, early learning teachers consider critical learning areas when programming. What do you think these are and why are they important? Jot down some ideas to create a numbered list. How many critical learning areas for children did you identify?

    To me critical learning areas is learning that is important for a person to have to become well-rounded.

    Critical learning to me could include

    1- Self Acceptance
    2- Empathy
    3- Self regulation
    4- Autonomy
    5- Effective Communication
    6- Contentment
    7- Language
    8- Arts and Culture
    9- Community
    10- Enviromental Awareness

  9. Rachael Ewan

    I feel like the acronyms are limiting and trendy. STEM, STEAM and STREAM often mean little to people not knowledgeable of the education field. There’s so much more to learning. As we just saw… what about play? What about social emotional development, gross motor, wonder, discovery…. On and on.

  10. Heather Brekkaas

    Social and emotional learning – SEL is what is missing. Everyone needs connection to others, to themselves, and to the world around them. They need to learn how to deal with big emotions.

  11. Anna Mary McKenney

    Social and Emotional well being are missing from here. Building secure and healthy relationships help children to feel at ease where more engaged learning can take place. STEM. STEAM, and STREAM are very narrow and do need seem to provide areas for personal well being and growth as well as scaffolding skills for a variety of age groups as toddler programs often have a wide range of ages and abilities.

  12. Rachelle Gregoire

    We need to incorporate spirituality , emotional , and non violent communication. A connection and love for self and the others in our communities

  13. Lindsey Cooper

    they seem like broad subjects but very focused on the educational aspects where there needs to be more focus on the social aspect of learning.

  14. Krista Ambrose

    Stem, Steam and Stream all focus on learning. I think children need to develop social skills ad communication.

  15. Dana Wilson

    I think that social emotional development is missing, communication, relationships, connection.

  16. Bonnie Willson

    STEM, STEAM AND STREAM are of course very important thins to contemplate when it comes to educating our children, but so are communication and spirituality. If we don’t teach the children how to understand themselves, how will they learn how to understand anything else?

  17. Angel Huang

    Is there something missing here? What about relationships? Where do they fit in? Discuss your impressions of STEM, STEAM and STREAM and what may be missing in these acronyms taking over the educational world in the comment box below.
    What is missing are relationships or the connection with others, trustworthy and the communication. (social emotional area is not a big part of this.) My impressions of STEM, STEAM, and STREAM are a great help and connection for the critical learning areas and how they all connected together, yet they are too narrow. We are leaving the characteristic of a child or their personality out from this. Their skills of how to regulate themselves are part of their growth developmental

  18. Mikaela Reyes

    STEM, STEAM, and STREAM are great learning experiences for all children. It just also shows that academic curriculums are always related with each other. Furthermore, a child who is involved in these experiences enables their mind to grow and think thoroughly and this also involves ability to finish tasks, redo tasks with ease or resiliency, patience, and self-regulation. This also involves observations from and with peers.

  19. Betty-Ann Ryz

    The acronyms STEM, STEAM, & STREAM are all great academic-based learning. However, relationships, communication, personal feelings and respectfulness needs to be the base of any type of learning. Plus, learning how to be a great community member goes along way in a persons life. There is so much more to the world than just academics learning.

  20. Ruth Novak

    I think realtionships are really important. I also think honest communication is needed. Positive attitudes and imagination!

  21. Amanda Christison

    I would definitely say that relationships should be added in here as well as positive interactions, communication, empathy building, etc especially today when mental health and its importance has really come to the forefront. The other parts of STEM etc are great, but if you don’t have those basic relationships and important social and emotional skills behind them, it’s not the full learning experience that sets them up for success long term.

  22. Silvia Martínez

    I would add communication and meaningful full relationships to peers as well as adults that include respect and trust.

  23. Caroline Driedger

    Discuss your impressions of STEM, STEAM and STREAM and what may be missing in these acronyms taking over the educational world?
    Stem, Steam Stream all focus on a learning set. This misses the ability to to have child learn to problem solve on their own , What is missing is relationships and communication.

  24. Deborah Fehr

    When all the players are connected and strong relationships are developed, the learning for all is enhanced. Children naturally become interested in things that the adults in their life are interested in. This opens the opportunities for their learning about things that they may not have been drawn to without that relationship. The most important skills that children are learning from birth to 7 fit in the category of social/emotional learning. All other learning is enhanced when children have good social/emotional skills.
    Communication is the skill that children need to enhance their learning in STEM and STEAM.
    The missing pieces are relationship, communication and social/emotional.

  25. Janet Huffman

    Discuss your impressions of STEM, STEAM and STREAM and what may be missing in these acronyms taking over the educational world in the comment box below.

    Like many others- Relationships… as they are a key foundation to have success. Once you have a strong relationship the rest comes more easily

  26. Laura Mcintosh

    I think communication is missing from these acronyms because this is a vital because this is a big part of how we connect with the children.

  27. Patricia Lynch-Staunton

    Discuss your impressions of STEM, STEAM and STREAM and what may be missing in these acronyms taking over the educational world in the comment box below.

    When thinking about learning in a socio-cultural context, I see these acronyms as useful headings, with much to discover within: relationships, community, social play, emotional regulation and identification, creative exploration, critical thinking, cognition, executive function.

  28. Jaclyn Geiger

    I understand here the simplicity of STEM, STEAM & STREAM may be helpful but it really seems to missing some vital key points. I would include Relationships for sure as this key to teaching and learning. Social & Emotional learning is also vital.

  29. Christine Villeneuve

    In programs I work with, there is a high focus on building relationships. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is more a focus than academic learning. This does not mean they don’t promote STEM/STEAM/STREAM. Relationships are the foundation for trust and learning.

  30. Kim Hoey

    I believe that you need to a relationship with the child before anything else. Once you have that then the other learning will take place much easier.

  31. Taylor Aichelberger

    I think that social-emotional learning is definitely something that immediately stands out as missing here. Relationships and connection are fundamental for healthy personal lives and academic/professional success in any field. STEM, STEAM and STREAM are too far narrow. I think that by focusing on specific core learning areas that are “important” and other areas that are “extra”, we are completely missing the larger picture and ignoring personal interests. Skills like problem-solving, flexibility, frustration tolerance, self regulation, communication, innovation, creativity, and developing a sense of self will help learners to be successful and empowered to find their own path.