Guided interaction in pre-school settings

L. Plowman, C. Stephen

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The aim of this study was to explore how guided interaction could create opportunities for learning with information and communication technologies (ICT) for children aged three and four. The study was grounded in the naturalistic environment of the playroom, in a context of free play and child-initiated activity, and focused on interventions selected and implemented by practitioners. Guided interaction describes the ways in which children's interactions with computers and other forms of ICT can be actively supported in pre-school settings. The paper presents a framework that illustrates proximal and distal guided interaction and the modes by which they are enacted. The concept of guided interaction (i) provides a tool for thinking about the different modes by which learning can be supported in pre-school settings and (ii) helps practitioners to articulate, reflect on and legitimise changes in pedagogy, enabling them to find new approaches to working with ICT. The paper provides an account of the analysis underpinning the development of the concept, followed by a description of its characteristics and the different types of learning that can be supported. An adapted version of this analytical framework has potential both as a research tool and to support changes in practice for professionals in other sectors of education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

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