The role of motive objects in early childhood teacher development concerning children's digital play and play-based learning in early childhood curricula

Joce Nuttall, Susan Edwards, Ana Mantilla, Sue Grieshaber, Elizabeth Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Digital technologies are increasingly accepted as a viable aspect of early childhood curriculum. However, teacher uptake of digital technologies in early childhood education and their use with young children in play-based approaches to learning have not been strong. Traditional approaches to the problem of teacher uptake of digital technologies in early childhood curricula argue that more professional development is needed to help teachers learn to use the technologies with children. However, by focusing on children s play instead of teacher knowledge about using technologies with young children, the `problem of teacher uptake of technologies in the early years may be re-phrased as a field-specific problem concerned with defining and understanding young children s digital play. This argument is illustrated here through a recent study of teacher perspectives on digital play in the early years. Our aim is to offer an alternative response to the problem of uptake of digital technologies, whereby teachers motives for engaging in professional development are understood in relation to children s play-based learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-235
Number of pages14
JournalProfessional Development in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • professional development
  • early childhood education
  • digital technologies
  • cultural-historical activity theory

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