Children's use of home computers from a cultural psychological perspective

2018-11-14T11:45:23Z (GMT) by Lucinda Kerawalla
This thesis adopts a cultural psychological perspective on children's use of computers at home and, as a contrast, in the classroom. It utilises various methodologies to investigate the actual uses that children make of computers in these settings and also focuses on how computing practices are situated within the local ecology, or context. Seventy-six 7-, 9- and 11-year-old pupils from five socially and ethnically diverse primary schools were interviewed in their schools. In addition, thirty-three families with children of comparable ages, from the same five schools, participated in a detailed study of the ecology of home computing. Findings suggest that, although parents had high educational aspirations for the ways in which their children would use a new computer, these aspirations were not met in reality. Entertainment games predominated and educational software was used comparatively little. This thesis explores why this was the case and finds that it was the differing ecologies of the home and the classroom that mediated the different uses that were found in either setting. [Continues.]