International Perspectives on the Dynamics of Pre-Service Early Childhood Teachers’ Digital Competences

Madsen, Siri and O'Connor, Jane and Janes, Aleksander and Klančar, A. and Brito, Rita and Demeshkant, N. and Konca, A.S. and Krasin, S. and Saure, H.I. and Gjesdal, B. and Ludgate, Shannon and Jwaifell, M. and Almuhtadi, R. and Thorvaldsen, S. (2023) International Perspectives on the Dynamics of Pre-Service Early Childhood Teachers’ Digital Competences. Education Sciences, 13 (7). p. 633. ISSN 2227-7102

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Abstract: Researchers and society in general seem to be conflicted regarding the use of digital technology in early childhood education (ECE). Some are focusing on the positive aspects of using digital technology, while others are critical and position it as an enemy of early childhood practice. It has been argued that digital technology is not appropriate for young children’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. Nevertheless, supporting and developing young children’s beginning digital competence is implemented in curricula and teacher education glob-ally. The need for teachers’ professional digital competence (PDC) is increasing according to the development and increased use of digital technology in society as a whole, including in the field of education. The field of research has, to a large extent, been focused on primary and secondary education, and there is a lack of research on PDC in ECE. To gain insight into the dynamics of PDC in ECE, we investigated a range of ECE contexts by including different international perspectives in a comparative study of pre-service early childhood (EC) teachers transitioning to being in-service teachers. The survey was conducted in eight different nations (Norway, Slovenia, Portugal, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, England and Jordan) and resulted in 772 responses from pre-service teachers in the last year of their education. The paper discusses these international perspectives, considering the differences found between nations. It also investigates the dynamics of PDC, understood in this article as comprising attitudes, skills and knowledge. Following this, it also investigates how these dynamics are affecting the pre-service teachers’ expectations related to their future application of digital tools as teachers to be. The results indicate large differences between nations for both single items and multi-item scales. At the same time, the dynamics of digital practices across nations reveal that attitudes, digital skills and knowledge are statistically strong predictors of pre-service teachers’ future use of educational digital technology (EDT). This indicates both similarities and differences across nations and could serve as insight regarding the development of teacher programmes and the importance of including all aspects when developing pre-service teachers’ PDC. This article, due to its limitation, will not elaborate in depth on contextual differences, and further qualitative research is needed to understand the complexity related to educational culture and practice.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
17 June 2023Accepted
21 June 2023Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: pre-service early childhood teachers, early childhood education, digital technology, digital skills, comparative study, attitudes, digital competence
Subjects: CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-02 - teacher training
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Study of Practice and Culture in Education (C-SPACE)
Depositing User: Jane O'connor
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2023 09:33
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2023 15:12

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