TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS ABOUT COLLABORATION AND INCLUSION USING A TANGIBLE DIGITAL STORYTELLING TOOL (I-THEATRE) IN PRE-SCHOOL AND PRIMARY EDUCATION: THE INCLUDED PROJECT RESEARCH PILOT STUDY
1 University of Trento, Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, Faculty of Cognitive Science (ITALY)
2 Universidad Europea de Madrid, Department of Psychology, School of Biomedical Sciences (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:This study analyzes the teachers' perception about collaborative experiences using i-Theater of 40 Spanish and Italian pre-school and primary school teachers involved in the INCLUDED Project.
INCLUDED "Inclusive childhood education supported by multimedia and digital storytelling" is a training and action-research project promoted by the European Commission (Erasmus +) and several institutions and educational centers from Italy, Spain, and Finland. It aims to favor social skills (collaboration, active listening, empathy, positive interdependence) and narrative competence (syntax, vocabulary, cohesion, coherence) through collaborative activities with i-Theatre. This tool links the multisensorial dimension of drawing, storytelling, and digital tools in classroom experiences with digital and tangible interfaces. The INCLUDED research is divided into two phases: a pilot study and an experimental study.
This pilot study explores the initial contact between students, teachers, and the i-Theatre, examining teachers' opinions about the experience. During this phase, teachers involved in the project had the opportunity to use the i-Theatre tool freely in their classes. We asked teachers to observe students during the activity and fill an observation sheet developed ad-hoc for the research, assessing their students' level of collaboration during the sessions with the i-Theatre. After the classroom experiences, we also invited the teachers to answer a questionnaire about the experience. Finally, two researchers interviewed teachers to go more in-depth on their perceptions during individual sessions. Data from the observation system, questionnaires, and interviews were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.
Regarding the observation system, we analyzed group composition and students' characteristics, group self-regulation, social responsiveness (focus on the task, social awareness, social cognition, social motivation, social communication), and inclusion during the activity. From teachers' questionnaires, researchers collected and analyzed data about session characteristics (organization and duration), students' interest and collaboration, teachers' support during the task, and the tool's pedagogical value. Teachers' interviews served as a deepening of teachers' impressions in the questionnaire, asking about their opinions of the use of i-Theater, students' and activity features, strengths and weaknesses of the experience with the i-Theatre.
The preliminary results show that teachers consider this experience and the i-Theatre tool of high interest for educators, seeing results on collaboration and implication of their students (with or without any difficulty) from the first session. Teachers' perceptions about storytelling, social responsiveness, collaboration, and inclusion will be discussed in this study.
Keywords: Inclusion, Tangible Digital Storytelling, pre-school, primary school, teachers, collaborative storytelling.