Preschool Teachers’ Beliefs and Pedagogical Practices in the Integration of Technology: A Case for Engaging Young Children in Scientific Inquiry
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Monash University, AUSTRALIA
University of Eastern Finland, FINLAND
Sarika Kewalramani   

Monash University
Online publish date: 2019-07-08
Publish date: 2019-07-08
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2019;15(12):em1784
This paper presents findings from an on-going international study (Australia and Finland) of preschool teachers’ beliefs and pedagogical practices in the integration of technology to engage young children in learning science. Scarcely used in early childhood education research, this study is framed using Mishra and Koehler’s (2006) Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) theory. Case studies presented in this paper are undertaken with data collected from three preschools in Australia. Participant observation of teachers’ (N = 7) and children’s play experiences, and semi-structured interviews, revealed that teachers occasionally used iPads and some apps within their intentionally constructed science investigations, both for teacher-initiated research and for communicating with parents via children’s journals. Teachers were not adverse to, but rather accepting of embedding technology as a pedagogical affordance and keen on planning for multimodal science-based experiences. The findings of this study imply the need for a pedagogical shift, wherein teachers’ technological pedagogical knowledge improves in how and when to sensibly integrate technology for children’s engagement in scientific inquiry, rather than relying on hands-on experiences alone. Implications lie in more closely aligning teachers’ TPK and related practices with science content knowledge by co-researching together with children and foregrounding both teachers’ and children’s perspectives.
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