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Early childhood practitioner beliefs about digital media: integrating technology into a child-centred classroom environment

Vidal-Hall, Charlotte and Flewitt, Rosie and Wyse, Dominic (2020) Early childhood practitioner beliefs about digital media: integrating technology into a child-centred classroom environment. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. pp. 1-15. ISSN 1350-293X

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Abstract

Early childhood practitioner beliefs about digital media: integrating technology into a child-centred classroom environment Charlotte Vidal-Hall, Rosie Flewitt and Dominic Wyse UCL Institute of Education, University College London, London, UK ABSTRACT The effective integration of educational technologies into early childhood education remains a significant challenge. An important element of this challenge is how practitioner beliefs about pedagogy relate to how digital technologies are used in the early years classroom. Focussing on early childhood practitioner beliefs in relation to pedagogy and digital technologies, this paper reports on a doctoral study where Educational Design Research (EDR) methodology was used to investigate how a technology- focussed intervention might lead to changes in one teacher’s approach to integrating digital media into her child-centred pedagogy. The data included reflective discussions over a period of 18 months, video observations of digital media use, and scrutiny of relevant documents. The intervention resulted in a change from the teacher being sceptical about the relevance of digital media for early childhood education to her developing effective strategies to integrate digital media into her child- centred pedagogy. This shift in pedagogic approach was made possible by the teacher changing her beliefs about the value of digital technologies in early education. Findings suggest professional learning should address practitioner beliefs about digital media and early years pedagogy, including providing time and space for teacher reflection.

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