The Early Childhood Futures program is led by Professor Susan Edwards and examines the role of play-based learning in building young children’s knowledge outcomes for the 21st century. The team engages with early learners and early learning contexts, and examine play-based learning which is an acknowledged strength of early childhood education in formal and informal settings. Early learning settings considered in this program of research include: playgroups, community contexts, childcare, kindergarten/early learning centres, families and the first three years of school. New approaches to play-based learning generated foster the capacity of parents and teachers to build young children’s knowledge outcomes. Key knowledge outcomes fostered by adults in the provision of contemporary early childhood education and care include: digital technologies, media and popular-culture, sustainability and health/wellbeing.
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Our research team
The Early Childhood Futures team are experts in the fields of cyber-safety education, play and digital play pedagogies, digital practices in early years, early childhood education, and early learner literacy and technology.
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Young children in digital society
This project aims to identify the practices enacted and shared amongst young children, their families and educators in digital society. The project is significant because, in digital society, families and educators face new demands to ensure technologies are used in the best interests of young children. Knowledge about practices in digital society informs adult decision-making using technologies with, by and for young children in the early years. The outcome is a new online tool for sharing exemplar practices benefiting Australian children, their families and educators with new resources, materials and programs in areas including digital media production, cyber-safety education, digital play and digital parenting.