Digital Bridges Between Home and Preschool: Theorising Conceptually Inclusive Practice in Digital Environments

  • Marilyn FleerEmail author
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 22)


Even though technologies have been used in inclusive education for a long time, there are relatively few cultural-historical studies that have focused on the pedagogical framing of digital tablets for preschool-aged children with additional visual needs. This chapter seeks to contribute to filling this gap in the literature by presenting the findings of a single case study of a child with visual impairment who used digital tablet technology for conceptually rather than visually navigating his way around his environment. The research involved the observations of a boy aged 4.1 years with albinism. Observations were digitally recorded over a 3-week period (74 h) at home and within his preschool. Vygotsky’s theory of inclusion informed the study design, and the concept of the social situation of development guided the detailed analysis. Findings show that contrary to traditional conceptualisations of technology as compensatory, digital tablet technologies afford a new relation for children that sits within a social system, framing inclusive practices across preschool and home environments. The study contributes to the building of a new understanding of inclusive pedagogy for digital environments in early childhood settings.


Early childhood Digital tablet technology Cultural-historical Digital tablets Inclusion Visual impairment 



The Australian Research Council Discovery Grant scheme funded the research allowing for research assistance from Feiyan Chen, Yijun Hao, Hasnat Jahan, Judith Gomes, Shuhuan Pang, Shukla Sikder, and Pui Ling Wong, Madeleine Holland, and Rowan Fleer-Stout led by Sue March as the senior field researcher.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityFrankstonAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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