Professor Susan Edwards, Australian Catholic University
12-1.30pm, 15th November, Paterson's Land room 1.18
The use of digital technologies by young children is often an emotive and contentious topic in early childhood education. In 2017, Early Childhood Australia – the peak representative body for young children, educators and families in Australia, committed to producing a national Statement on Young Children and Digital Technologies to support adult decision-making regarding digital technology use in the early years in the best interests of young children. This seminar details the process undertaken by the Digital Policy Group, co-chaired by Professors Susan Edwards and Leon Straker to lead the development and writing of the ECA Statement on Young Children and Digital Technologies. The approach to building national consensus, using the available evidence-based and the conceptual framing of the ECA Statement will be examined. Officially launched in September 2018, the ECA Statement attracted significant media attention and has since generated interest in a range of allied fields, including digital media production, childhood safety and law enforcement regarding digital technology use in the best interests of young children.
Professor Susan Edwards is Director of the Early Childhood Futures research program in the Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education, Australian Catholic University. Her group investigates the role of play-based learning in the early childhood curriculum for the 21st century. Professor Edwards has completed work as a Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council Discovery Grants. The first examining play-based learning in early childhood education settings, and the second the role of play-based learning in wellbeing and sustainability education. She is currently the lead Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant on digital play and an Australian Research Council Linkage Project investigating best practice for playgroups-in-schools. Susan has over 70 publications in peer reviewed journals, and has published several books with publishers including Cambridge University Press, McMillan and Open University Press. Her most recent book is titled Young Children’s Play and Learning in the Digital Age (co-authored with Christine Stephen, University of Stirling).