3 years ago

Early childhood educators’ attitudes and beliefs around the use of touchscreen technologies by children under three years of age

Ioannis Kalaitzidis, Maria Hatzigianni

Abstract

This paper reports on an Australian study around early childhood educators’ attitudes and beliefs on the use of touchscreen technologies by very young children, under three years of age. The study adopted an ecological perspective and educators and directors of early childhood centres completed an online survey and were interviewed on this specific topic. Data were analysed to identify teachers’ competencies (eg, digital skills) but also possible factors behind attitudes and beliefs (eg, leadership styles; training; teaching philosophy). Findings suggest that early childhood teachers’ views are evolving and they are now more confident when they use technology for work/personal purposes but not as confident when integrating technology with very young children. Educators’ overall confidence and hours using technology is significantly associated with a positive attitude towards the incorporation of technology. Their teaching philosophy is also associated with their technology use with very young children. In contrast, training or lack of it is not significant. This study has direct implications for Early Childhood Education as it will contribute to better understanding educators’ views and practices on a hotly debated topic and whether they are ready to change their traditional views and embrace this new social reality. The need for more research on the influence of technological use on very young children’s development will also be underlined.

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