Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
DR. Breda McTaggart, Dr. John Pender, Tamsin Cavaliero
OMEP World Assembly and International Conference
When denial becomes a cultural thing: The struggle within (us)
Published Abstract
Optional Fields
Today's children are growing up in a rapidly changing technological age that is hugely different from that of their grandparents or even parents. As a result, most children of 2014 use technology based devices earlier than they hold a pencil and often with more ease and proficiency, (Lauricella, and Wartella, 2011). This is supported by their ability to follow pictorial directions and use situational and visual cues to understand and think about their activity (Clements and Nastasi 1993). However, professionals within the early education sector often struggle with this technological space. Questions arise over whether we should allow children to use this technology, what will the impact of this be? Is it harmful? (Clements, 1999). But the reality remains that very young children are "growing up at ease with digital devices" which are becoming the tools of the society we live in (National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), 2012), as such, are we in cultural denial in not teaching ourselves and children in our care to use this technology in a responsible manner? And, if so, should we / can we find a way to incorporate this technology to improve our early years pedagogy and ultimately a child's learning opportunities? Using realist and interpretive data collected from early year's educators, this paper discusses these issues along with the struggles and barriers from a professional perspective. The paper also identifies possible strategies to facilitate the early year's educator's journey to merge and integrate the traditional with progressive early year's pedagogy (Becker and Riel, 1999). This is phase one of a three stage project which explores the barriers to (Phase One), implementation and integration of (Phase Two and Three), technological opportunities within early years teaching and learning.