I am a faculty member teaching at Seneca College, in Toronto, Canada. My teaching interests include: play in early childhood, curriculum designs in early childhood settings, digital technologies in early years, and inquiry-based teaching and learning.
I have recently completed my PhD degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada. My research areas include early childhood education, nature and children, Environmental Education, play, literacy, consumer market, and mother research.
My academic and professional experiences in short:
- I have published articles and book reviews in a few peer-reviewed journals.
- I have presented in many conferences and workshops in US and Canada.
- I was interviewed by a few magazines and newspapers.
- I have 15 years of experience teaching pre-K to Grade 5 as well as adults at academic institutions and language schools.
In a recent 2-phase collaborative research study, my colleague, Dr. Sandra Lackenbauer, and I examined the digital lives of young children. Study one is a qualitative content analysis of the Ontario Full Day Early learning -Kindergarten (FDELK) program (2010) and the Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT) framework (2007). The findings show that most (~75%) references in the FDELK program are to using digital technologies in the Language Learning area with an emphasis on critical literacy and media literacy. Very few references to digital technologies were found in the other learning areas. No references were found to the use of digital technologies in play. In the ELECT document, almost all references to technology were found in the appendices, and the majority of these references occur in a summary of a Scottish curriculum support document. Study two is a survey study of approximately 500 guardians of children aged 0-6 years to investigate the nature and duration of children’s access to digital technologies in the home environment and guardians’ attitudes and beliefs towards their children’s access and use of digital technologies. The findings show that most children have been introduced to digital technology during their first two or three years of life and use digital technology at home for 0-2 hours per day.Guardians’ attitudes are mildly positive regarding their child’s use of technology in the home AND about the importance of schools/childcare centres providing opportunities for technology use. Some parents express concerns about their child’s technology use and endorsed a balanced approach.
My doctoral dissertation is on how young children’s engagement with nature may contribute to their learning experiences in a kindergarten classroom. I studied the many ways that children may encounter and engage with nature in a school setting. I asked: How does this engagement look like? What does sustain their engagement? What is the role of the teacher to encourage, facilitate, and enrich this engagement? How can the curriculum support it? What are the possible learning experiences, cognitively, physically, emotionally, and spiritually? I’m in the process of writing my dissertation and plan to defend in February, 2012. I will post some of the findings of my dissertation in this blog.
In another research project, I was also a part of a research team who was studying experiences of girls aged 5-12 years with the modern media and texts. This study examined girls’ everyday consumption and production of clothestexts, toytexts, and mediatexts. As a part of this study, we conducted a parent’s survey. I’d like to invite you to complete this online Survey Monkey, if you have a daughter in this age category. Here’s the link to the survey. Just click https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GirlsExperience