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Children’s Creative Inquiry in STEM

Karen Janette Murcia, Coral Campbell, Mathilda Marie Joubert, Sinead Wilson (eds.)
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
Sociocultural Explorations of Science Education
[Reviewed by
Sandra Richy John
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With the rising global competition there has been an increase in demands for careers pertaining to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). This puts the onus on the in-service teachers and teacher educators to develop a curriculum that prepares this present generation of tech-savvy children. Additionally, the rapid growth of digital era produces venues for innovative problem posing and solutions.  Hence interdisciplinary STEM education that incorporates both inquiry-based approaches and creativity are gaining popularity to meet these growing needs. This book is a collection of evidence from several international research that sheds light on to the contextual, cognitive, pedagogical and socio-cultural factors involved in children’s STEM inquiry and creativity.
Literature shows that creativity and inquiry are complex terms that are open to multiple interpretations within a global setting. Therefore, the research presented in this book is categorized into four parts or themes. Part I describes creative dispositions and processes. It identifies the common grounds between inquiry and creativity. For example: play-based learning, problem solving and student agency, motivational factors, role of building curiosity and asking questions etc. Part II deals with the characteristics of creative STEM learning environment. One of the major concerns of teachers is to provide the right learning environment or place for creative inquiry (indoor and outdoor). Creativity must happen organically with ample opportunities for exploration and reflections. Part III is about creative approaches to teaching STEM. The works cited in this part show how cross-disciplinary ideas from engineering, history, arts etc. can be merged into science education. Lastly, Part IV illustrates how children’s creativity and STEM inquiry can be fostered in the digital era using robotics and computer coding. These skillsets are highly valued for success in STEM careers.
Overall, this book presents a rich and detailed account of instructional and learning approaches for creative STEM inquiry. Most of the articles use qualitative research methodology and that is justified due to the vagueness of creativity definition within different cultural contexts, which again opens new and creative directions for future research. I highly recommend this book to STEM teacher educators and graduate students who may be interested in working in this evolving area. 


Sandra Richy John is a PhD candidate in Curriculum and Instruction specializing in STEM Education (Math Education concentration) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois, USA. Her research interests are design-based learning and integrating technology in mathematics education. She can be reached at