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Signature Pedagogy in Early Years Education: A Role for COTS Game-Based Learning

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Computers in the Schools Volume 29, Number 1, ISSN 0738-0569


In this article we look at the links between early years pedagogy and the use of digital game-based learning. Early years education is a distinctive phase of the education system in many countries, generally covering the age range from 3-6 or 7 years. In the United Kingdom, it tends to bridge preschool and the first two years in primary school. Early years education is based on characteristic values, beliefs, and practices which distinguish it from later phases of mainstream educational provision. Based on an analysis of these characteristics, we argue that it is an example of a signature pedagogy. We look at the role of information and communication technologies in such pedagogy, specifically the use of digital games, illustrating the case with reference to a recent empirical study which looked at the use of a commercial off-the-shelf game with 5- and 6-year old children. We conclude by reaffirming the congruence between such games and a signature pedagogy of early years education. The role of the teacher, and in particular his/her pedagogical skill, is central to the educational use of commercial games.


Miller, D., Robertson, D., Hudson, A. & Shimi, J. (2009). Signature Pedagogy in Early Years Education: A Role for COTS Game-Based Learning. Computers in the Schools, 29(1), 227-247. Retrieved April 8, 2020 from .

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