06 SES 03, Environments and Cultures of Expression and Documentation
Digital technology has entered all areas of daily life and its effects are widely and controversially discussed. With respect to its impact on pre-schools, research so far mainly investigated media pedagogic projects or media related competences of children (Baacke, 1997). Less attention, in turn, was paid to the opportunities and risks of using technology in working-processes of pre-school teachers.
In digital age new technologies are increasingly introduced in all areas of business world. Digitalization has effects on working processes and their organization (Thiemann, 2018). It may lead to simplified and thus time-saving working processes. Digitalization also allows more flexibility and might therefore contribute to a better work-life balance (Siebert, 2016; Thiemann, 2018). This heightened flexibility might, however, also result in constant accessibility, so it becomes more difficult to distance oneself from work. Other possible risks pertain to the danger of an oversimplified communication or data protection issues (Moorstedt, 2015; Siebert, 2016; Thiemann, 2018).
In the context of the discussion of chances and risks of digitalization in the work place, researchers and practitioners also discuss the use of technology in elementary education, for example for documenting children's development.
Observing and documenting childrens development is mandatory according to the pre-school educational schedules of all German federal states. Both are considered as an elementary part of professional acting of pre-school teachers (Viernickel & Völker 2009) and supposedly increase the quality of pedagogic work (Müller & Zipperle 2011). Quality standards and measures of quality assurance in (early) education became more important in Germany ever since the unsatisfactory results of German students in the PISA-Study in 2000 (Thole & Cloos, 2006). As a consequence, elementary education’s task shifted from solely caring for children to also educating them (Becker-Stoll, Niesel & Wertfein, 2012; Wadepohl, 2015).
Through documentation pre-school teachers become more aware of their work processes, they reflect about their own work and thus follow and support the development of every single child. In addition, documentation in pre-school makes learning processes of children visible also for outsiders (Hanke, Backhaus & Bogatz, 2013).
Documenting in a high quality constitutes quite a challenge for pre-school teachers. It takes plenty of time and many teachers are not able to manage it during regular working day. Thus, many pre-school teachers feel overburdened due to the obligation to finish up documentations in their spare time (Viernickel, Nentwig-Gesemann, Nicolai, Schwarz & Zenker, 2013). At this point, the use of digital media could provide support for pre-school teachers.
In recent years, developers increasingly designed digital programs for documentation in elementary education. They argue that using their programs, educators simplify working processes and save time, that can then be used for pedagogical work with children. (Bostelmann, Engelbrecht & Möllers, 2017).
To date, evidence on the use of these digital documentation programs in German pre-schools is lacking. Little is known about the use and perceived chances and risks of digital media and digital programs for documentation (Burghardt & Knauf, 2015; Reichert-Garschhammer, 2017). An online-survey on the application of digital documentation in Hamburg and Lower Saxony indicated that most pre-schools use analogue as well as digital media. Most pre-schools use only digital media for digital documentation; specific digital programs for documentation, however, are hardly ever used (Schönborn & Kuhl, 2018).
This leads to the following research questions:
- What are the named reasons to document only analogically, only digitally or in both forms?
- What are the perceived opportunities and risks of using digital media or digital programs for documentation in pre-school?
To answer these research questions, we conduct instructional interviews with selected pre-schools in Hamburg and Lower Saxony in Germany. We sampled pre-schools in order to contrast cases. Therefore, we selected pre-schools that either document only analogically, only digitally or use both forms. The questions of the instructional interview for the pre-school principal as well as two teachers of each pre-school aim at a deeper understanding of pre-school - specific aspects. Accordingly, all interviews follow the same structure but vary in specific aspects identified in the above mentioned online study (Schönborn & Kuhl, 2018). During the interview we addressed the following topics: Attitude about documentation in pre-school and about further education with media topics, reasons for the actually used form of documentation and opportunities and risks of using digital media or digital programs for documentation in pre-school. We conducted the interviews in December 2018 and January 2019. For analyzing the data we will apply the qualitative content analysis (Kuckartz, 2016) using the program MAXQDA.
Since the data collection is still ongoing, only preliminary results can be presented. So far, we can observe that the attitude of pre-school principals and teachers regarding the use of digital media or programs for documentation varies enormously. While some of interviewees do not see any benefit in using digital documentation, others seem very motivated to document via digital media or programs. Interviewees mention as well opportunities as risks but altogether opportunities outweigh the risks. Some of the mentioned arguments refer to presumptions rather than on one’s own experience. Going in more detail, the presented project can be helpful to understand more about the implementation of digital media or programs in pre-schools for documentation. Furthermore, we look forward to identifying the necessary steps to successfully implement digital documentation in pre-schools.
Baacke, D. (1997). Medienpädagogik. In: Straßner, E. (Hrsg.): Grundlagen der Medienkommunikation. Band 1. Tübingen: Niemeyer Verlag. Becker-Stoll, F., Niesel, R. & Wertfein, M. (2012). Handbuch Kinder in den ersten drei Lebensjahren. Theorie und Praxis für die Tagesbetreuung. Freiburg: Herder Verlag. Bostelmann, A., Engelbrecht, C. & Möllers, G. (2017). Das Portfolio-Konzept digital für den Kindergarten. Mit Smartphone und Tablet zeitsparend und fundiert dokumentieren. Berlin: Bananenblau. Burghardt, L. & Knauf, D. (2015). Vorsprung durch (digitale) Technik? Untersuchung der Potenziale digitaler Portfolios in Kindertageseinrichtungen. Medienimpulse (4). Online: http://medienimpulse.at/articles/view/1136 [Datum der Recherche: 31.08.2018] Hanke, P., Backhaus, J. & Bogatz, A. (2013). Den Übergang gemeinsam gestalten. Kooperation und Bildungsdokumentation im Übergang von der Kindertageseinrichtung in die Grundschule. Münster: Waxmann Verlag Kuckartz, U. (2016). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Methoden, Praxis, Computerunterstützung. Weinheim/Basel: Beltz Verlag. 3. überarb. Aufl. Moorstedt, M. (2015). Wie uns die Technik entmenschlicht. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/digital/digitale-kommunikation-wie-uns-die-technik-entmenschlicht-1.2748685 [Datum der Recherche: 10.12.2018] Müller, G. & Zipperle, M. (2011). Bildungs- und Lerngeschichten in der Praxis. Eine Zwischenbilanz aus empirischer Sicht. In: In: Fröhlich-Gildhoff, K. / Nentwig-Gesemann, I. / Leu, H. R. (Hrsg.). Forschung in der Frühpädagogik IV. Schwerpunkt: Beobachten, Verstehen, Interpretieren, Diagnositizieren. Materialien zur Frühpädagogik. Band 9. Freiburg: FEL Verlag Forschung – Entwicklung - Lehre. Reichert-Garschhammer, E. (2017). Kita digital. Chancen der Digitalisierung im Bildungssystem Kita. Vortrag Didacta 2017 in Stuttgart. Aktionstag „Digitale Medien in Kitas“ am 17.02.2017. S. 54-56. Schönborn, H. & Kuhl, P. (2018). Digitale Dokumentation in Kindertagesstätten – Eine Bestandsaufnahme. AEPF-Vortrag. Siebert, J. (2016). Arbeit digital – Chancen und Risiken. Online: https://www.bildungsxperten.net/job-karriere/arbeit-im-digitalen-wandel-chancen-und-risiken/ [Datum der Recherche: 12. 12. 2018] Thiemann, D. (2018). Digitalisierung der Arbeitswelt, aber wie? Komplexe Herausforderungen richtig managen mit DigiTraIn 4.0. Online: https://www.wissensdialoge.de/digitrain/ [Datum der Recherche: 14.12.2018] Thole, W. & Cloos, P. (2006). Akademisierung des Personals für das Handlungsfeld Pädagogik der Kindheit. Zur Implementierung kindheitspädagogischer Studiengänge an Universitäten. In: Diller, A. / Rauschenbach, Th. (Hrsg.). Reform oder Ende der Erzieherinnenausbildung? Beiträge zu einer kontroversen Fachdebatte. München: Verlag Deutsches Jugendinstitut. S. 47-77. Viernickel, S. & Völkel, P. (2009). Beobachten und Dokumentieren im pädagogischen Alltag. Freiburg: Herder Verlag. 3. Aufl. Viernickel, S., Nentwig-Gesemann, I., Nicolai, K., Schwarz, S. & Zenker, L. (2013). Schlüssel zu guter Bildung, Erziehung und Betreuung: Bildungsaufgaben, Zeitkontingente und strukturelle Rahmenbedingungen in Kindertageseinrichtungen. Berlin: Der Paritätische Gesamtverband. Wadepohl, H. (2015). Professionelles Handeln von frühpädagogischen Fachkräften. Online: URL: https://www.kita-fachtexte.de/uploads/media/KiTaFT_Wadepohl_2015.pdf [Datum der Recherche: 01.02.2018]
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