ICT in the early years : young children's experiences and capabilities
This research investigated the capabilities and experiences of Foundation Stage children (3-5 years old) in the maintained sector in relation to ICT. The research explored children's capabilities and experiences in four early years classrooms in two schools using observations and interviews. In the process it considered the reliability and validity of the relevant Early Learning Goals as guides for practitioners. The research also examined the experiences of children outside of the nursery / classroom by surveying and interviewing parents. The purpose was to learn about the extent and characteristics of the technological dimension to childhood for the children involved. The thesis argues that children in the nursery and reception classes in both locations were able to learn about, and through, ICT where it was used appropriately but that ICT seemed to be underutilised in some areas of early learning. The thesis also suggests that some young children's experiences of, and capabilities with, ICT are not adequately described by the existing statements contained in the Curriculum guidance for the foundation stage. While a high degree of congruence existed across both locations in terms of the incidence of ICT there were some differences in the characteristics of children's interactions with these technologies in the home. The thesis makes recommendations concerning the role of practitioners, curriculum documentation, partnership arrangements with parents and possible areas for further research.