Using Technologies for Sustainable Inclusive Practices in Early Childhood Education

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 1584

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Education, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne 3800, Australia
Interests: STEM and technology integration practices; teacher STEM professional learning; AI technologies for social good; child wellbeing and development

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Guest Editor
Department of Early Childhood Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: early childhood education; STEM/STEAM education; computational thinking
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the rapid development of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) robots, virtual reality apps, game-based platforms, etc., their use as instructional tools has become an attractive research topic. Numerous studies have shown that AI robots may provide new opportunities for learning designs in school settings or for teacher professional learning (Alimisis, 2021; Chu et al., 2022; Papadakis & Kalogiannakis, 2021). However, contemporary research that explores how new technologies are being used by teachers, with teachers, and for teachers is still emerging within early childhood education (ECE) contexts. With recent evidence that technologies can support young children’s early learning experiences in preschools (Dardanou et al., in press; Kewalramani et al., 2023; Palaiologou et al., 2021; Sullivan & Bers, 2016), home and community settings (e.g., Arnott et al., 2019; Marsh et al., 2018; Yelland, 2018), we now need to understand how practitioners are being supported to enact holistic experiences for children’s learning and development. The other side of emerging research that this Special Issue endeavors to unpack is the potential of technologies as a sustainable inclusive practice—for example, in the case of early childhood inclusive science teaching (Almarode, 2021). Inclusive practices in early childhood education are not uncommon. However, whilst this Special Issue aims to provide insights into teachers’ technology integration, it is also worth asking how technology can form a sustainable solution for fostering inclusion in ECE settings. As such, this Special Issue brings together research with a bottom–up perspective, focusing on teachers’ pedagogy—one that integrates technology as an inclusive approach and serves as a guide for quality learning experiences for children in ECE.

Furthermore, the recent OECD and UNICEF 2021 report calls for research to understand teachers’ digital literacies and related pedagogical practices as means to combat digital divides and digital inequalities. One example is the inclusion of technology as a sustainable inclusive practice fostering a two-way interaction between digital and social inequity. Through this Special Issue we seek to understand unexplored ways of how technology can strengthen access and foster the acquisition of transversal skills useful for inclusive educational processes—for example, the value that technology can offer to social and emotional learning through different tiers of action and the main features of educational technology that can support such use (Palomino, 2018). We invite authors to submit papers that exemplify our focus on teachers’ use of technologies as artefacts and instructional tools for cultivating inclusive learning environments. Technologies for the purpose of this Special issue should go beyond the use of iPads and/or monomodal digital tools. Haptic technologies such as AI robotics, VR, game-based learning, etc. are some examples of under-researched practices within the context of ECE that can help researchers to understand teachers’ digital literacies and sustainable inclusive practices.   

This Special Issue aims to illuminate, interrogate, and highlight innovations related to ways in which teachers—both in-service and preservice teaching contexts and academics across ECE (0–8 year old teaching and learning contexts) and informal education spaces—respond to the experiences, challenges, ambiguities, and tensions around understanding and building teachers’ technology integrated sustainable inclusive education practice.

We invite teacher-researchers across ECE, as well as researchers developing methodological frameworks, to submit a 200-word maximum abstract relating to the Special Issue focus. All work should be presented in English, understandable to a lay audience, and using APA 7th referencing style.

Topics for discussion may include:

  • Illuminations about policies and practices of inclusive education that integrates technology-based practice;
  • Enquiries into the roles and responsibilities of higher education institutions in the initial and ongoing development of teacher education/professional development, both domestically and internationally;
  • Interrogations of transnational policy, research, and practice issues for teacher’s technology-constructed practice that has implications for teachers’ digital literacy;
  • Investigations of technology-based educational interventions that impact positively on the social and emotional well-being of children, educators and/or communities;
  • Interrogations of factors for teachers’ technology-based education practices, including race/ethnicity, class/socioeconomic status, gender, and able-bodiedness that may impact child wellbeing and development;
  • Advances in methods for teacher-focused research influenced by global engagement.

References

Alimisis, D. (2021). Technologies for an inclusive robotics education. Open Research Europe. https://doi.org/10.12688/openreseurope.13321.2.

Almarode, J. (2021). Inclusive Teaching in the Early Childhood Science Classroom. Routledge.

Arnott, L., Kewalramani, S., Gray, C., & Dardanou, M. (2020). Role play and technologies in early childhood. In Z.  Kingdon (Ed). A Vygotskian Analysis of Children’s Play Behaviours: Beyond the Home Corner, pp. 76-92. Routledge.

Chu S.-T., Hwang G.-J., & Tu Y.-F. (2022). Artificial intelligence-based robots in education: A systematic review of selected SSCI publications, Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence (2022), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.caeai.2022.100091.

Dardanou, M., Palaiologou, I., & Kewalramani, S. (in press). Engagement in Play with the Internet of Toys: opportunities for young children’s language, cultural awareness, and identity. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.

Kewalramani, S., Palaiologou, I., & Dardanou, M. (2023). The integration of the Internet of Toys in Early Childhood Education: research from Australia, England and Norway. Routledge.

Marsh, J., Plowman, L., Yamada-Rice D., Bishop J., Lahmar, J., & Scott, F. (2018). Play and creativity in young children’s use of apps. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49 (5), 870-882.

Palaiologou, I., Kewalramani, S., & Dardanou, M. (2021). Make-believe play with The Internet of Toys: A case for multimodal playscapes. British Journal of Educational Technology. 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.13110.

Palomino, C. P. (2018). Information and communication technologies and inclusive teaching: perceptions and attitudes of future early childhood and primary education teachers. Problems Of Education in the 21st Century, 76(3).

Papadakis, S., & Kalogiannakis, M. (2021). Handbook of Research on Using Educational Robotics to Facilitate Student Learning. IGI Global.

Sullivan, A., & Bers, M. U. (2016). Robotics in the early childhood classroom: Learning outcomes from an 8-week robotics curriculum in pre-kindergarten through second grade. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 26(1), 3–20.

Yelland, N. (2018). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Young Children and Multimodal Learning with Tablets. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49 (5): 847–858. doi:10.1111/bjet.12635.

Dr. Sarika Kewalramani
Dr. Weipeng Yang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • STEM education
  • technology integration
  • sustainable inclusive education
  • early childhood
  • teacher professional learning
  • teacher education

Published Papers (1 paper)

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21 pages, 946 KiB  
Systematic Review
Roles and Effect of Digital Technology on Young Children’s STEM Education: A Scoping Review of Empirical Studies
by Xinyun Hu, Yuan Fang and Yutong Liang
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040357 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Digital technology is increasingly used in STEM education for young children aged 0–8 years. An extensive literature search was conducted using seven databases to systematically investigate the effect of digital technology on young children’s STEM education. Twenty-two eligible articles published from 2010 to [...] Read more.
Digital technology is increasingly used in STEM education for young children aged 0–8 years. An extensive literature search was conducted using seven databases to systematically investigate the effect of digital technology on young children’s STEM education. Twenty-two eligible articles published from 2010 to 2021 were identified. Results showed that robotics, programming, and multimedia were used to support young children’s STEM education. Digital technology plays different roles in the process of STEM education. Outcomes also showed that digital technology positively affected young children’s STEM education in terms of STEM knowledge or skill acquisition and learning engagement. This was regardless of gender but relevant to age and the learning condition. Participating children and teachers reported high acceptance and satisfaction with the included programs. However, many difficulties, challenges and criticisms were revealed by the extracted data, including how digital technology is used in young children’s STEM education, the nature of young children, the requirements placed upon educators, and different types of adult–child interactions. We also look at the limitations of the study design within included studies and provide recommendations accordingly. Full article
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