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The role of cultural tools and motive objects in early childhood teachers’ curriculum decision-making about digital and popular culture play
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Nuttall, S Edwards, S Grieshaber, E Wood, Ana Mantilla Benitez, T C Katiba, J Bartlett
Cultural–historical perspectives on human activity argue that changes in cultural practices, such as teaching in early childhood education, can be fostered by introducing new conceptual resources, a process known as re-mediation. We report from an ongoing study that aims to change early childhood teachers’ curricular practices in response to children’s everyday experiences of the convergence between popular culture and digital play. To date, convergence has only marginally influenced contemporary early childhood curriculum. Seventeen teachers were interviewed after implementing a new cultural tool called ‘web-mapping’ that mobilises the concept of convergence to foster digital and popular culture play in preschools. This paper theorises the re-mediation of teachers’ curriculum decision-making by examining the dynamic relationship between cultural tools and the object motives identified in interviews with the teachers. It concludes by reflecting on the implications for future professional development initiatives that aim to change curricular practices in early childhood education through the introduction of new cultural tools.