Early childhood teachers' professional beliefs and the status of ICT practices in the Kenyan context
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 20:50 authored by Gladys Milimu Shaji
Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) are currently receiving overwhelming attention in respect to innovation through technology. However, most research on the use of technology in ECDE is, to date, reported in developed countries. Much less research has explored the use of technology in the African context, including Kenya. This research aims to extend the parameters of this research through an investigation of how technology is integrated in Kenya‟s ECDE. The study raises three key questions: What are the professional beliefs of Kenyan early childhood educators about the use of technology in ECDE? What is the status of ICT practices in Kenyan preschools? In what ways are the professional beliefs of ECDE teachers in Kenya linked to their everyday practices and pedagogies in their educational settings? The study is significant because it acknowledges the voice of preschool teachers, teachers‟ trainers and ECDE policy-makers regarding integration of technology in ECDE. This was a three-phase, exploratory sequential mixed methods study with several data collection sources. Phase One included a case study involving 11 preschool teachers in two preschools, one public and one private. A survey was conducted in Phase Three with 508 preschool teachers. The participants for Phase Three included key ECDE stakeholders and other interested parties. The sets of data generated from the three groups of participants were analysed through use of qualitative and quantitative approaches. The results of this study revealed that preschool teachers, ECDE stakeholders and other interested parties held positive beliefs about the use of technology in ECDE. The study also found that Kenya lacked policy frameworks aimed at teachers‟ professional training on use of technology in ECDE. Additional findings of this study pointed to teachers‟ limited access, use and confidence in integration of technology in practice. Implications drawn from this study are focused on future research, policy, and professional training; learning and the role of the Kenyan Government in research and professional practice.