Fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills in young children
Early childhood research from the STEM Education Center's Head Start Project is featured in the September 2011 issue of Young Children, the journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The research article, "Incorporating Cultural Themes to Promote Preschoolers' Critical Thinking in American Indian Head Start Classrooms," was authored by Mia Dubosarsky, Barbara Murphy, Gillian Roehrig, Linda Frost, Jennifer Jones, and Stephan Carlson with Nette Londo, Carolyn J.B. Melchert, Cheryl Gettel, and Jody Bement. This research was the culmination of a three-year project called Ah neen dush ("Why?" in Ojibwe), sponsored by the Department of Health & Human Services.
The research team worked with Head Start teachers on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota to mentor and support educators through a professional development program focusing on the development of inquiry-based science and mathematics activities. Activities were developed to be culturally-relevant by using Ojibwe language and cultural principles as part of hands-on activities.