Investigating Teachers' Decision-Making about the Use of Digital Technology in Kindergarten

Friday, July 18, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: 424
Oral Presentation
Sandra GRANT , Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Professor Susan DANBY , School of early Childhood, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
To secure its place in the global economy, the Australian government (2009) recognises that its citizens require highly advanced Information Communication Technology (ICT) skill sets to meet the demands of global ‘knowledge’ economies. Political imperatives to introduce digital technology in educational settings have seen the emergence of digital technology educational outcomes within the national early childhood curriculum, The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009) and in Building Waterfalls (2nd edition, 2011) the curriculum framework used by Queensland Crèche and Kindergarten teachers. Although emerging in early childhood curricula in the prior-to-school sector, digital technology is not yet visible as a policy priority with a plan for funding of digital technologies and infrastructure for support, or for teacher professional development about the integration of digital technology into classroom practice. Against this backdrop of government political imperatives to become a digitally literate nation, new digital technology curriculum accountabilities and an absence of early childhood education digital technology policy the question arises, “How do teachers make decisions about the use of digital technology in Kindergarten classroom practice?”

To address my research interest in teacher decision-making about the use of digital technology in Kindergarten classrooms, this paper draws on interview data gathered from nine teachers working with 3-5 year old children in Crèche and Kindergarten classrooms throughout South East Queensland, Australia. The interviews form a subset of PhD research data collected as part of the larger Australian Research Council Discovery Project “Interacting with knowledge, interacting with people: Web searching in early childhood” (Danby, Thorpe, & Davidson # 1100004180). Institutional ethnography provides a means of scrutinising how teachers use of digital technology is organised and shaped by the discourses embedded in current early childhood curricula and technology policies.