New Zealand early childhood education (ECE) aims to provide a mix of teacher and child-led learning. A non-prescriptive curriculum allows for broad and rich early years teaching and learning experiences, with teachers responsive to devising engaging activities to align with children's diverse interests. However, such spontaneity presents an on-going challenge for teachers. Using a combination of Action Research, elements of User-Centered and Participatory Design, and Scrum software development approaches, we conducted a multi-disciplinary study which leveraged joint contributions of software engineers and experts, including practitioners (teachers), users (children and teachers), and domain experts (in ECE curriculum and pedagogy, and early childhood psychology). Examination of teacher-child interactions with our software demonstrated that our game was engaging, promoted collaborative gameplay (by promoting mutual awareness, opportunities for information, and equitable control) and supported reciprocal teaching (by aligning children's interests with content knowledge). Finally, it opens new avenues for introducing research and pedagogy-informed interactive educational software in the NZ ECE domain.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2014|