Resource Reflection

  • What is the name of the resource?

How Early Childhood Educators Can Apply Fred Rogers’ Approach by Hedda Sharapan.

  • What was the overall idea of the resource, and how it related to the whole unit under study?

The overall idea of Sharapan’s arguments in this resource is the misconception held by parents and instructors towards STEM. Many learning institutions have overemphasized on STEM and ignore children’s interests that may be in the arts. From this realization, students encounter difficulties because of the inability of their instructors and parents to endorse their arts potential, which defines their career growth and development outside the learning environment. On many occasions, understanding the changing needs of individuals is a problem because of the predetermined mindset that hinders the flow of information from the source to the receiver. Even though students are expected to emulate their instructors and other adults in their surroundings, they have limited involvement in the decision-making process that determines the outcomes in their lives. Understanding the different needs of individuals in the world today hinders people from pursuing their potential because of the setbacks that discourage them from accomplishing their desired objectives.

Sharapan indicates that Fred Rodgers revolutionized the understanding of STEM after proposing the concept to incorporate Arts to become STEAM. By openly talking about issues taking place today, Rodgers changed individuals’ perspectives towards STEAM and created an enabling environment where people could hold a conversation on the relevant topical issues affecting child education. The focus of educators on the four subjects and intentionally leaving out Arts changed the attitude of many young students towards education. Distracting children from the severe learning environment and introducing STEAM as an everyday topic is one of the revolutionary approaches recommended by Rodgers in the new teaching concept. Interacting with students requires instructors to develop innovative teaching approaches that resonate with individuals’ thought processes in their immediate environment.

  • What was the one important idea that you will use in the classroom that clicked for you from this resource?

After reading this resource, I realized that parents and instructors are usually at fault when interacting with young students. While children learn from adults in their surroundings, imposing knowledge without engaging the young scholars might accrue inevitable consequences that interfere with their ability to benefit from the entire learning process. Even when the STEM concept was formulated and introduced in the learning environment, many parents became more concerned about their children’s performance in the four subjects. However, Sharapan’s view on the teaching approaches that should be introduced in early childhood education creates a thought-provoking perspective that initiates the much-needed change in the learning environment (Sharapan, 2012). Understanding children’s different potentials create a vital talking point that encourages individuals to recognize their potential and enable them to establish their dominance outside the learning environment. Despite the pressure piled on children by different stakeholders, instructors should maintain a focused approach that acknowledges the children’s preferences on other disciplines outside Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) such as arts.

Early childhood teaching approaches play a significant role in nurturing young people and defining their ability to understand issues in their immediate environment. Over the years, the STEM concept has been used to expose young learners to an enabling environment where they can comprehend different issues affecting outcomes beyond the learning institutions. STEM represents science, technology, engineering, and math, subjects that parents and instructors emphasize their importance when interacting with students. This resource offers a different perspective that provokes individuals’ thought processes and their ability to overcome hindrances that distract them from realizing the views of young people towards the learning concept. After the introduction of arts in the STEM concept, the overall attitude of young students towards learning became clear to different stakeholders who could now acknowledge the different potential possessed by students in the world today.

  • How has this resource changed your thinking, being specific about where you were in your thinking to what you read and digested that made the aha moment of change?

When Sharapan talks about Rodger’s teaching approach, I was amazed by the significance of simplicity in the field of education and its impact on the perspectives of children towards the concepts taught in class. Many learning institutions fail to acknowledge the different aspects that define the general attitude that should be adopted by students in the learning environment. Parents should expose their children to an enabling environment where they can emulate different behavioral tactics. There is a need to identify the values that determine their performance in the learning environment. From this realization, understanding the different approaches that early childhood educators should use is a critical revelation determined by the student’s potential. Importantly, Sharapan’s review of Rodger’s perspectives on STEAM is interesting. Firstly, Sharapan highlights the nature of approaches that should be adopted in the learning environment to ensure students embrace the different concepts that outline the need for change in the community. Secondly, I am amazed by the impact of a simple teaching method and how it exposes learners to an environment where they can ask questions and connect with the learning expectations developed by the institution. For this reason, embracing a learning concept that expands children’s interests is a viable idea that should be pursued and introduced in the contemporary learning environment.




Sharapan, H. (2012). From STEM to STEAM: How Early Childhood Educators Can Apply Fred Rogers’ Approach. Young Children, 67(1), 36-40.

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