Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

Ilene Berson

Keywords

curriculum, development, ICT, ICT4D, interviews

Abstract

The purpose of this interview study was to describe and explain perceptions, beliefs, and practices about technology among four teachers at a Jamaican infant school, by answering: What are teachers' perceptions and beliefs about the role of technology in young children's learning? What are the practices regarding technology among Jamaican infant school teachers? I used criterion sampling to identify participants for my inquiry. For data collection, I used semi-structured interviews, teachers' lesson plans, and my reflective journal. I applied a socio-cultural approach (Rogoff, 1990) for the data analysis to make sense of the teachers' perceptions and articulated practices. The findings indicated the teachers' appropriation of technology for knowledge building. The teachers also perceived technology as a tool of instruction to replace charts for curriculum content. The teachers believed technology augment children's readiness skills for first grade. The teachers' envisioned affordances of technology indicated their articulated practices for children's appropriation of technology. The findings also indicated the actual and envisioned barriers that challenged teachers' facilitation of the child as agent with technology in the Jamaican early childhood classroom. The findings indicate the importance of understanding the cultural context of teachers' practices with technology and provide implications for technological innovations in Jamaican classrooms. Information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) is a cultural activity to be explored with teachers, students, and their social partners in institutions of practice.

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