Young children (0-8) and digital technology: A qualitative study across Europe

Full-text | Contribution made to report authored by the European Commission

It only takes witnessing a few interactions within modern western families to realize how much the experience of childhood has changed. The change comes from different winds blowing on today’s families’ time but certainly, the use of digital technologies peaks out and its impacts on childhood, education, learning and safety has been at question over the last years. Since a very early age, video watching and gaming on a variety of internet-connected devices are among children’s favourite activities. Parents see digital technologies as positive and unavoidable, if not necessary, but at the same time, find managing their use challenging. They perceive digital technologies as something that needs to be carefully regulated and controlled. They would appreciate advice on fostering children’s online skills and safety. The document reports on results of a cross-national analysis building on data coming from 234 family interviews with both children and parents, carried out from September 2014 until April 2017 in 21 countries. It exposes the key findings regarding first children’s usage, perceptions of the digital technologies and their digital skills in the home context but also on parents’ perceptions, attitudes, and strategies. Beside the cross-national analysis, a dedicated section provides contextualized snapshots of the study results at national level. It then takes a close up on 38 families in seven countries in which researchers came for a second interview distant of one year in which they focused on monitoring change of context, children and parents’ perceptions, attitudes, and strategies over time. The conclusion reflects on the potential benefits, risks and consequences associated with their (online) interactions with digital technologies and provide recommendations to policymakers, industry, parents and carers.

Popular, rejected, neglected, controversial or average: Do young children of different sociometric groups differ in their level of oral communicative competence?

Social Development | Femke van der Wilt, Chiel van der Veen, Claudia van Kruistum, Bert van Oers

Children’s sociometric status refers to their position within the peer group and plays a major role in their future social development. It is therefore important to investigate factors that are related to it. To date, little attention has been paid to the potential role of oral communicative competence. The present study investigated sociometric group differences in the level of oral communicative competence in a sample of N = 570 children in early childhood education. Sociometric status was measured using a nomination procedure. Based on peer nominations, children were categorized into five sociometric groups: (1) popular (generally well‐liked), (2) rejected (generally disliked), (3) neglected (low visibility and neither liked nor disliked), (4) controversial (high visibility and both liked and disliked), and (5) average (at or about the mean on both likability and visibility). Children’s level of oral communicative competence was assessed with the Nijmegen Test for Pragmatics. Results of multi‐level analyses revealed significant sociometric group differences: children who were rejected or neglected by their peers exhibited lower levels of oral communicative competence than average children. Based on these findings, teachers in early childhood education are encouraged to pay more explicit attention to the promotion of their pupils’ oral communicative competence.

Why can’t I join? Peer rejection in early childhood education and the role of oral communicative competence

Contemporary Educational Psychology | Femke van der Wilt, Chiel van der Veen, Claudia van Kruistum, Bert van Oers

The present study investigated the relation between oral communicative competence and peer rejection in early childhood education, as well as gender differences in this relation. Participants were N = 447 children aged 4–6 years. Children’s level of oral communicative competence was measured using the Nijmegen Test for Pragmatics and a sociometric method with peer nominations was used to assess their level of peer rejection. Regression analyses revealed that, after controlling for gender, age, and SES, oral communicative competence accounted for unique variance in peer rejection and was negatively related to the extent to which children were rejected by peers: children with poorer oral communicative competence experienced higher levels of peer rejection. No gender differences in this relation were found. Future research demonstrating the causal effect of oral communicative competence on peer rejection can provide early childhood education teachers who try to prevent or reduce peer rejection a strong argument to focus on the promotion of children’s oral communicative competence.

The tacit dimension of parental mediation

Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace | Claudia van Kruistum, Roel van Steensel

Studies into the way parents mediate their children’s (digital) media use are challenging. A reason for this is that parents are not always aware of what they do and why, as their choices do not necessarily involve rational decision-making. In the present study we adopted the notion of “tacit knowledge” (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Polanyi, 1966) to explore how and why parents of young children mediate digital media use. In-depth interviews were conducted with 24 Dutch parents from 15 families who were selected to represent a range of socioeconomic backgrounds and different family compositions. Through qualitative analysis we first distinguished three mediation styles of “regulation”, “guidance” and “space”. Furthermore, we revealed seven values that drive parental mediation: three core values of “balance”, “freedom” and “protection” that are foundational in the sense that they explain why parents mediate; three orientational values of “qualification”, “Bildung” and “health/fitness” that explain to which end parents mediate; and one additional value of “flexibility” that accounts for parents’ exception-making. Finally, we showed that the most important emotions associated with these values were anger and disapproval (with balance and protection) and love and joy (with orientational values); fear was mentioned occasionally (in relation to protection).

Hoe lees je een prentenboek voor? Drie voorleesmanieren onder de loep

De wereld van het jonge kind | Full-text | Femke van der Wilt, Hieke van Til, Rianne Hofma, Claudia van Kruistum, Chiel van der Veen

In het kleuteronderwijs is het voorlezen van prentenboeken een dagelijks terugkerende activiteit. Tijdens een schooljaar worden er dan ook heel wat prentenboeken versleten. Maar hoe kun je een prentenboek nu het best voorlezen? Stel je wel of geen vragen tijdens het lezen? En wat doe je als het boek uit is? In dit artikel lees je hoe je één prentenboek op drie verschillende manieren kunt voorlezen en wat het effect daarvan is op de taalvaardigheid van kleuters.

Mindmap van prentenboek

Didactief | Full-text |  Femke van der Wilt, Claudia van Kruistum, Menno van der Schoot, Chiel van der Veen

Er is nog weinig onderzoek gedaan naar het effect van mindmappen bij kleuters. Gaat hun taalvaardigheid sterker vooruit als ze samen met de leerkracht mindmaps maken van het voorgelezen verhaal?

Waarom de mediaopvoeding door Nederlandse ouders géén probleem is

LinkedIn blog | Claudia van Kruistum

‘Een derde van de ouders weet niet wat hun jonge kind doet op een beeldscherm’ zag ik in mijn nieuwsfeed voorbij komen. Dat leek me een ernstige zaak en ik klikte op de link om het volledige bericht te lezen. Alarmerende koppen zijn effectief: onderzoekers die een probleem signaleren krijgen meer aandacht voor hun werk. Sommige ouders worden onzeker: moet ik een tijdslimiet gaan hanteren? Die onzekerheid is helemaal niet nodig want Nederlandse ouders zijn al goede ouders, durf ik te stellen.

MODEL2TALK: An intervention to promote productive classroom talk

The Reading Teacher | Chiel van der Veen, Femke van der Wilt, Claudia van Kruistum, Bert van Oers, Sarah Michaels

This article describes an intervention – the MODEL2TALK intervention – that aims to promote young children’s oral communicative competence through productive classroom talk. Productive classroom talk provides children in early childhood education with many opportunities to talk and think together. Results from a large-scale study show that productive classroom talk has a positive effect on young children’s oral language abilities. This is of great importance, as good oral communicative competence is related to later reading comprehension skills and social acceptance, and mediates learning, thinking, and self-regulation. How to promote productive talk in your classroom? Start by giving children more space to share their ideas, listen to one another, reason, think together, and reflect on their communicative performance. The examples in this article support teachers to adopt productive talk and move towards a classroom culture in which children think and communicate together.

Nederlandse scholier ongemotiveerd?

LinkedIn blog | Claudia van Kruistum

“Nergens ter wereld zijn scholieren zo ongedisciplineerd en ongemotiveerd als in Nederland,” berichtte de Volkskrant vorig jaar. Het bericht werd indertijd gretig verspreid en de klachten over Nederlandse leerlingen werden breed gedeeld. In een artikel in De Correspondent van vandaag wordt hetzelfde bericht aangehaald. Maar wat is ervan waar?