Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education

Donna Adelmund

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Education

BA Elementary Education from Univ. of Northern Iowa

BA Early Childhood Education from Univ. of Northern Iowa

MAE Early Childhood Education from Univ. of Northern Iowa

Teaching Experience

Newborn - 5 year olds, UNI Child Development Center, January 2003 - July 2015

Participation in the NSF Ramps and Pathways Project

Participated in NSF Ramps and Pathways pilot testing/classroom research

Ramps and Pathways Certified Trainer

What has R & P meant to you professionally as an early educator?

I feel as though I am better-rounded as an educator and therefore, feel more professional.  I am more knowledgeable in the area of early science and STEM, which is such a vital and current topic in education.

How has R & P changed your approach to early science learning?

Science is embedded in a young child’s natural curiosity to explore their world.  In early childhood, especially, science is integrated in many other areas throughout our day at school.  Before Ramps and Pathways, I was not comfortable, though, having science be the focus because I did not feel I had the knowledge accurately teach and engage my young students. Through my experience with Ramps and Pathways, I have become more at ease and comfortable with early science learning.  It comes more naturally now that I have the experiences Ramps and Pathways has provided for me as an early childhood educator, and even more so, as a lifelong learner. I have found I feel more capable in teaching early science and incorporating activities into my daily curriculum with young children.

What has been your greatest intrinsic reward using R & P with young children?

It is amazing to see the “Ah ha!” moments children have when engaged in Ramps and Pathways.  Ramps and Pathways is reachable for all students, no matter what their ability or age.

Surprising outcome(s) using R & P with young children?

I was amazed at the elaborate structures my 3 and 4 year olds would be engaged in and create! They would sometimes come up with ideas that would have never occurred to me.  I was also pleased with the amount of social skills that developed through their engagement in Ramps and Pathways – learning how to cooperate, share ideas, listen to those ideas, and create structures together!

What words of wisdom would you share with early educators implementing R & P for the first time?

It may feel overwhelming at first, but Ramps and Pathways is less complicated than what one might think.  Take time to explore on your own and engage *yourself*.  It was immensely satisfying and beneficial to take time to explore by myself and be challenged to think in a different way than I may have before.

What should parents and administrators know about R & P?

Ramps and Pathways is a gateway to a new way of thinking about science and STEM activities.  Children need time to explore, play, create, and interact on a physical level with science.  Ramps and Pathways is a great, easy way to start doing this and the impact in other curriculum areas is paramount!!