AdvancED | Measured Progress introduced a first-of-its-kind Early Learning STEM Certification for preschools and programs which demonstrate that they serve early learners with developmentally appropriate instructional practices that promote higher-level thinking and child brain development.
“Young children are naturally inclined to explore, observe, and discover new things each and every day. This is the perfect time to leverage their innate curiosity and support the development of scientific thinking,” said Dr. Holly King, vice president of Early Learning Services, AdvancED | Measured Progress.
In the first known certification of its kind, AdvancED’s Early Learning STEM Certification provides institutions and programs serving children from three weeks through five years of age a research-based framework and criteria from which to assess the quality, rigor, and substance of their early learning practices, including problem-based experiential learning and integrating components of STEM thinking into a broad range of activities and learning opportunities.
The AdvancED Early Learning STEM Certification framework, which draws from both best practices in early childhood education and AdvancED’s existing STEM certification for K-12 schools, is centered on 12 standards used to evaluate and determine the extent to which an early learning institution is providing a high quality early learning STEM education that includes: inclusive learning experiences, a culture of inquiry and collaboration, real-world activities, personalized and self-directed STEM learning activities and defined learning outcomes.
Early learning schools in South Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Massachusetts have become the first to earn AdvancED STEM® Certification. The certification “is a mark of distinction and excellence, rooted in research, that speaks to the quality, rigor, and substance of their STEM educational program,” said Dr. King. “STEM is such a buzzword, even in early learning education, but high quality programs focus on building an age-appropriate culture of inquiry and exploration across a wide range of activities. You can’t just slap ‘STEM’ on the door and think that you are offering a quality program.”
The AdvancED Early Learning STEM Certification framework recognizes brain development research that shows that even very young children can be exposed to higher order thinking and vocabulary, hands-on learning, collaboration, inquiry, and real world problem solving—all skills critical for later success in math, science, and other STEM-related subjects. Through this certification protocol, institutions and programs build awareness, increase expectations and demonstrate a commitment and ability to deliver high-quality early learning STEM education. AdvancED Early Learning STEM Certified schools have demonstrated that their programs provide developmentally appropriate STEM learning experiences for all their young students.
To learn more about AdvancED Early Learning STEM Certification contact Dr. Holly King at [email protected].
AdvancED | Measured Progress
AdvancED | Measured Progress is a non-profit organization with a global reach that locally serves the needs of schools and their community. A leader in pre-K through grade 12 school improvement, accreditation, assessment services, and STEM Certifications, AdvancED | Measured Progress is dedicated to helping stakeholders make decisions and take actions to improve the quality of learning experiences for every learner. We conduct rigorous, external engagement reviews of schools, and provide balanced formative and large-scale summative assessments. A pioneer in authentic, standards-based assessments, the organization develops assessments for classrooms, districts, states, and collaboratives and is proud to be a leading provider of alternate assessments for students with cognitive difficulties. Membership in the AdvancED Improvement Network of more than 36,000 institutions worldwide affords access to tools and services to help institutions assess and improve the quality of learning on their journey of continuous improvement. For more information visit us online.