1 School of Education and CI&DEI, Polytechnic of Viseu (PORTUGAL)
2 School of Education, Polytechnic of Viseu (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Page: 4285 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0994
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
A study was developed in the context of a Master's Degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education about the different uses and contributions technology played in the context of a project approach, developed with children in an Early Childhood Education center, about how things have changed since our grandparents’ time. Nineteen children from 3 to 6 years old were involved in the qualitative study. Both the study and the educational practice were based on a socio-constructivist perspective that considers learning and development as products of social interaction. Early Childhood Pedagogy is based on children’s rights and includes several dimensions: interactions between children and between children and adults, and the organization of the context where those interactions take place, which includes technology. In terms of interactions, listening to children about their experiences and interests and opportunities for rich and meaningful play are important. The first allows for activities that are presented and directed by the adult to be relevant for the children and promote meaningful learning. The project approach started with a close observation of children’s interests about how things used to be. From that starting point, children’s in-depth investigation of the topic “change” was developed. Throughout the process, the teacher’s role was to support children through their inquiry, preparing in advance, and analyzing the educational and learning potential of the experience. In this instance, particular attention was given to the uses of technology in the different stages of a project approach. The study was developed by a student teacher from the Master's Degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education that was assigned to this class for her five months-long practice. Data collection started two months before the end of the practicum when a good relationship with the children had already been developed. The descriptive study was based on participant observation, analysis of artifacts, and interviews with children. The interviews were informal and took place in the classroom, during the normal daily routine. Permissions were obtained from the parents and also from the children. The study assumed characteristics of an ethnographic investigation, which allowed the children to have a more direct voice and, consequently, greater participation. The results include an overview of the project work and its articulation with the daily routine of the center. The analysis focused on how technology was relevant for that work and resulted in five categories: registering children’s ideas, searching information, documenting the process, organizing knowledge and tasks, and presenting the work and the results to others. For each category, the technological resources that were more relevant and examples of the specific uses are presented. The conclusions highlight how technology can be meaningful in Early Childhood Education and support children to become responsible for their work, and to document and report their findings.
Early Childhood Education, technology, pedagogy, project work.