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ERIC Number: EJ1084881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1524-5039
Teaching and Learning When No One Is Expert: Children and Parents Explore Technology
Bers, Marina U.; New, Rebecca S.; Boudreau, Laura
Early Childhood Research & Practice, v6 n2 Fall 2004
Within the field of early childhood education, there is a strong tradition of integrated, emergent, and arts-oriented curriculum that must now respond to a growing and competing emphasis on literacy-based experiences. Considerably less priority (or teacher expertise) has been or currently is demonstrated in the areas of science, math, engineering, and technology (SMET), with math a distant second place to the role of literacy in the curriculum. Supporting teacher resistance to including science, engineering, or technology is the growing body of research on children's learning that makes clear that children learn best when academic domains are integrated within the context of personally meaningful experiences that build upon their own prior knowledge and current interests. For these reasons, it is essential that teachers become better prepared to apply and integrate new technology, not only in the service of teaching math and science but also the bigger goals of helping children learn and develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually. This article highlights experiences and understandings gained from a pilot workshop within Project Inter-Actions--a workshop series during which parents and children learned together about new robotics technologies; played with Legos, computers, and art materials; and built projects that reflected their own cultural practices and family heritage. The discussion considers the potentials of technology to support children's exploration of family values, cultural practices, and religious heritage; explores the complementary nature of two contemporary theories of cognition-constructionism and social constructivism; and revisits prevailing assumptions about developmentally appropriate practices as they inform early childhood education.
Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 877-275-3227; Tel: 217-333-1386; Fax: 217-244-7732; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A