Signature pedagogy in early years education: a role for COTS game-based learning

David Miller (Lead / Corresponding author), Derek Robertson, Alison Hudson, Jill Shimi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-247
Number of pages21
JournalComputers in the Schools
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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