We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Enhancing the use of Educational Technologies in the Early Years

JACK, CHRISTINE,LESLEY (2019) Enhancing the use of Educational Technologies in the Early Years. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


A pragmatic action research approach was used to explore how educational technology (EdTech) is being used to support teaching and learning within early years settings and how practitioners can be supported to use it more effectively. The project had three phases. Interviews with twenty practitioners in the North East of England provided an overview of how EdTech is being used. A questionnaire allowed the findings from the interviews to be explored in more detail and on a larger scale (335 respondents). Action research projects with eight early years practitioners allowed me to explore how practitioners can be supported to use EdTech in a way that benefits them, their children and their settings.

My overarching aim was to inform my future practice as an educational consultant and determine whether action research is an appropriate way of providing support. I also wanted the research to have a positive impact on the practitioners involved in the action research projects. The participants were supported to use action research to explore how EdTech could be used to address a particular issue in their settings. All of the participants benefited from their involvement in this project, but questions remain about whether this would be a suitable approach for providing support to other groups.

The term ‘educational technology’ is examined and clarified. The research found that practitioners’ definitions were much broader than those used in the literature. The research considered whether EdTech is being used effectively in early years settings. Defining ‘effective use’ can be problematic, as it can vary depending on context and practitioners’ beliefs. Technological and pedagogical beliefs have not always been aligned, but this research shows that technologies are increasingly being used in ways that are compatible with Early Years Foundation Stage pedagogy.

Technology is becoming more physically and culturally embedded in early years settings. However, it is possible that it is still not being used to its full educational potential. The rationale given for using technology is often ‘social’ rather than ‘pedagogical’ (Hawkridge, 1990). It is often used because practitioners believe their setting needs to reflect the wider world, rather than to support a belief about its impact on teaching and learning.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:Educational Technology, Early Years, implementing technology, pedagogical beliefs, action research
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Jun 2019 12:53

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter