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Durham e-Theses
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An ethnographic case study of young children’s
experiences of technology use at home and school

VOURLOUMI, GEORGIA (2015) An ethnographic case study of young children’s
experiences of technology use at home and school.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This is an exploratory case study describing the context and content of young children’s technology activities. The study approach is based on ethnographic techniques so as to explore children’s learning experiences of technology use at home and school. It combines research perspectives from the fields of early years learning and the use of technology at home and in the classroom. The study draws on Dewey’s theory of growth and the continuity of experience as an analytical framework, also incorporating literature from early childhood learning theories and research about children’s technology use. The study shows that technology use is a constructive and integrated part of family interactions at home, while at school the teachers use technology mostly for curriculum continuity.

The data was based on 62 hours of observations, of two children from one family in the home setting and their respective classrooms. It indicates that both of the teachers focused on the achievement of specific curriculum targets and mostly provided task-oriented activities and interaction. As a result their vision of children’s technology use and learning at school seemed to be fragmented. They missed the totality of children’s learning experiences with technology and the potential to build on their learning through understanding the continuity of their learning experiences.

At home the parents appeared to have broader goals and values for their children’s learning. Children along with their parents used technology in relation to other experiences in order to cover broader needs of development and learning. This provided a continuity of experiences in the home setting where the intentions or goals of the experience were either set by the child or shared between the child and other family members.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Early years; early childhood; primary education, technology use, Dewey’s theory of growth and experience; educational ethnographic case study
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 May 2015 14:56

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