“A tool not a substitute” : a multiple case study investigation of technology use in the early years foundation stage

Basquill, Jacqui and Cranmer, Sue (2018) “A tool not a substitute” : a multiple case study investigation of technology use in the early years foundation stage. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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The increasing availability of digital resources accessible to young children and their engagement with technology is often portrayed in a negative manner. Early years teachers are in an ideal position to address this by introducing technology to young children as a tool for learning. This study investigates the use of digital resources in a cross-case analysis of four early years settings. This multiple case study utilised the Technological Pedagogical And Content Framework (TPACK) (Mishra and Koehler, 2009) to shape the metrics for the study. Qualitative data in the form of interviews, observations and documentary evidence was collected to gain an overview of current practice. Consequently, the TPACK domains and intersections were deconstructed and associated to early years practice. Criteria for each domain and intersection were derived from this and provided the themes for Direct Content Analysis. The findings of the study revealed that personal experience and views of technology use, impact on the equity of children’s experience of technology across the settings. The availability of support and training was noted to impact the use of technology as well as the influence of external pressures such as fabrication and social desirability. Thus, it was revealed that teacher confidence and understanding of the capabilities of digital resources available is an important factor in the pedagogical use of technology with young children. The data highlights the need for staff development through bespoke training programmes that consider the pedagogy of early years technology. The need to adapt the TPACK framework to ensure it supports early years practice was also raised. The TPACK-EY offers a framework that promotes self-assessment and highlights areas for development. TPACK-EY enabled identification and analysis of activities in which participants combined their knowledge of technology, content and pedagogy to provide effective, play-based activities which enhanced the children’s learning experiences.

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Thesis (PhD)
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12 Apr 2019 14:40
Last Modified:
13 Jul 2024 02:11