Music and Early Childhood Education - Mahara project - Technology advantages and disadvantages - Teacher Child attachment theory - Steiner Education - Issues and Trends

Volume 2, Number 1 - June 2009

Editoral

The contributors in this edition reflect once more the international character of He Kupu. Susan Young reports on music learning and teaching in Europe and the UK, Philippa Gerbic et al., report on the Mahara project in New Zealand, Karin du Plessis from Australia writes on child attachment theory and Sharla Snider and Sharon Hirschy from the USA discuss technology in the field of early childhood education. Paul White reports on his experience of Steiner education in the UK and finally Andrew Gibbons reports on issues and trends from a global perspective.

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Interview

Peer-reviewed Papers

E-portfolios, a recent Information Communications Technology (ICT) innovation, have the potential to support learning by documenting development over time, offering exemplars for potential employers and providing evidence for registration purposes. This paper describes an introduction and study of an e-portfolio in the third and final year of a Bachelor of Education programme as part of a New Zealand wide funded tertiary project. The paper provides teacher perspectives after the first semester of implementation, and discusses the issues that arose when this new technology was introduced. Recommendations are also provided, including endorsing the role of collaboration by teachers to support innovation and professional learning, incremental approaches to embedding this technology into the curriculum, and preparing and supporting students in the use of e-portfolios.

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This paper highlights the key components of a developmentally supportive approach to technology use and integration for teachers of young learners. The impact of electronic technology on the growth and development of the young child, professional positions on the use of technology by young children as well as research findings suggesting best practices are addressed. Specific consideration is given to the use of technology tools within classroom and home settings including a framework for self-reflection, shaped by standards promulgated by the International Society for Technology in Education. This framework is intended for classroom teachers to use in the decision-making process related to technology use and the young child. The information in this paper benefits early childhood professionals and preservice teachers in the following areas: classroom management, technology use within the curriculum, developmentally appropriate practice, and working with parents.

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This review of the literature on attachment theory seeks to highlight important concepts relevant to teacher-child attachment. It includes a brief overview of attachment theory and adult conceptualisations of attachment, and then discusses more specifically teacher-child attachment. Much of the literature in early childhood focuses on child attachment to primary caregivers, which is highly relevant, but a greater understanding of adult attachment, and attachment to other caregivers, is also deemed pertinent. It is also noted that a greater understanding of adult attachment in the early childhood context is particularly relevant as New Zealand has an increasing uptake of early childhood education and care services, necessitating an understanding of attachment by all the caregivers involved.

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Teacher's Voice

On-going, although often sporadic, media interest in early childhood education has a significant effect on early childhood teachers, teacher educators and student teachers. Some very complex issues are often presented to the public in very simple terms, with reference to sources who see the issues in undebatable terms. Yet contemporary social and cultural issues are increasingly complex. This is particularly the case given that the nature of society and culture is arguably increasingly complex – this is generally regarded as a good thing, being that multiculturalism and pluralism are seen by many as a positive feature of late 20th and early 21st century society.

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Contributors

Dr Susan Young, Philippa Gerbic, Sharla Snider, Ph.D., Sharon Hirschy, Karin du Plessis, Paul White

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