STEAM APPROACH TO IMPROVING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN EARLY CHILDREN
Keywords:STEAM Approach, Critical Thinking, Early Childhood
Education has a role in producing superior human resources. Education needs to be adapted to the needs of students so as to create a pleasant learning atmosphere. The implementation of learning both inside and outside the classroom requires an approach that can build children's thinking power to be more systematic. An approach that can be implemented and is able to direct children to be able to explore critical thinking through the STEAM approach. The ability to think critically in early childhood will certainly be different from the ability to think critically in adults. The ability to think critically in early childhood is understood by the child's ability to respond to changes that occur in the surrounding environment, then the child is able to provide simple changes. The child begins to understand that in every life there will be many differences in the way they behave, how to communicate and how to view a problem. An approach that is able to foster children's activeness during learning so that in the learning process an active atmosphere occurs and twoway communication occurs, namely the STEAM approach. In practice, educators are required to have creativity in presenting learning activities and learning media so that there is continuity between learning materials, learning environments, and learning media. This study uses a descriptive type of research, namely to describe the extent to which the role of the STEAM approach in improving critical thinking skills in early childhood and to examine the factors that can affect the ability to think in children. This research was carried out by involving children aged 5-6 years at the Aisyiyah Al Amin Bibis Kindergarten in Surakarta City in 2022. The results of this study showed that there were still many children aged 5-6 years who needed assistance in learning that applied the STEAM approach, this is because the STEAM approach still has many meanings. Furthermore, educators at Aisyiyah Al Amin Kindergarten still need a more comprehensive understanding in implementing the STEAM approach in the learning process in the classroom or outside the classroom. There are several factors that affect the ability to think critically in early childhood, one of which is parenting applied in the family.
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