Multimodal methodologies for analyzing preschool children’s engagements with digital technologies

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Recent research on the role of technologies and specifically digital technologies in pedagogy has engaged in re-reading Vygotsky’s opus with a focus on the technological mediatedness of personal and collective development. Among other issues, it questions the differentiation between tools and signs and between reality and virtuality. In its stead, it suggests understanding technologies as mediating devices or artifacts, which offer the possibility to communicate with others for the sake of negotiating and actualizing imaginations together, for the sake of transforming pedagogical practice and the technologies it builds on collectively. Particularly when it comes to actively engaging in such a collective transformation as a researcher together with young children, the above conceptual reformulation poses a number of methodological challenges. For instance it remains unclear how the perspectives and problems of children can be accounted for throughout the technologically mediated collective development of a pedagogical practice – how it can be avoided that the adults’ perspectives take the sole lead throughout this collective engagement.
What lies at the heart of these challenges is the question of how adults can meaningfully communicate with young children, who are not able to fully verbalize their premises and reasons for acting, and who therefore hold a relatively weak positioning when it comes to influencing the negotiation processes necessary for engaging in collective transformative engagements. Here, children’s enactments of digital technologies offer important clues on how children seek to appropriate world and on how they intend to change it – both alone and together. However, such an analytical focus on children’s technological enactments calls for endorsing visual and other modal methodologies: These render it possible to understand all children’s actions as essentially communicative and assist adults in approximating the children’s perspectives on a collective transformative engagement. The presentation will illustrate the enactment of such multimodal methodologies for the analysis of age-transgressing collective transformations of technologically mediated pedagogical practice with empirical experiences made while participating in a preschool over the course of four months.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe 4th Congress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research: Inventing the future: Transformative research, imagination and collective action for social change - ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 29 Sep 20143 Oct 2014
http://www.iscar2014.com/

Conference

ConferenceThe 4th Congress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research
LocationANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CitySydney
Period29/09/201403/10/2014
Internet address

Cite this