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Play spelled out in kids blocks

Play, pedagogy and curriculum in contemporary theory and practice

About us

There is a need for fresh research perspectives on Early Childhood pedagogies as we acknowledge the importance of play for development, understanding how learning spaces are organised to respond to curriculum and the prevalence of digital media in children’s lives. This research group is one of four major research themes within Early Start.

Through an ongoing program of qualitative research, we examine critical perspectives of the relationships between and among play, pedagogy and curriculum. As a group we ask:

  • How are pedagogies evolving in the context of global changes in technology?
  • How do these pedagogies impact on children’s opportunities to play? Use learning spaces?
  • What literacy practices are necessary for participation?

Our group provides opportunities for its researchers to be immersed in qualitative methodology and theory as they: consider how different approaches and theories may apply to their research, learn from expert researchers, and network with experienced and novice researchers.



Adult-child-technology interactions
Using the team’s expertise in sociocultural theories and digital pedagogies, the research group will examine adult-child, child-child, child-space/resource interactions when using digital technologies for play and literacy experiences. In particular we ask:

  • How are digital technologies incorporated within the ESECs and what interactional strategies are used by EC educators?
  • How do these EC educators judge the quality of interactions during these opportunities and what is the nature of adult-child, child-child, child-technology interactions?
  • How do the features of the digital technologies and different software (apps) shape interactions?

Working with ESEC educators as co-researchers, we will support them to capture evidence of interactions during technology use for analysis. It is our intention that this project will enable us to develop guidelines for ESECs to support technology use with children.