The Effectiveness of an In-Service Training of Early Childhood Teachers on STEM Integration through Project-Based Inquiry Learning (PIL)
This article aims to establish the effect of a provision of an in-service professional development course for early childhood teachers on integrating STEM into early childhood education through Project-Based Inquiry Learning (PIL). With the participation of 22 early childhood teachers in the three-day STEM Integration through PIL workshop using the context of 10 differing hands-on projects, this study employed an explanatory mixed-methods research design in which the quantitative data and analysis provide the main focus of the results while the qualitative data and analysis are used to elaborate on, refine, or explain the quantitative findings. In this study, the main foci were the effects of an in-service STEM Integration through PIL training workshop on early childhood teachers’ self-perceived pedagogical knowledge, skills and attitudes, as well as their self-ratings on the in-service training. These quantitative findings are then elaborated on by means of participants’ written comments. The findings indicated that the participants self-rated their STEM-related knowledge, skills and attitudes statistically significantly higher (p < .001) in the posttest as compared to the pretest. The qualitative data from the early childhood teachers with regard to their perceptions on the in-service training on STEM could be categorised into three main themes, namely interesting experiences, acquiring new knowledge, and sharing of ideas. This article culminates in a discussion on the outcome of this study in light of the related literature review on effective in-service training.