Date of Award

12-2016

Embargo Period

11-30-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Honours) BEd (Primary) (Hons)

Faculty

Education, Business & Science

School

Education

First Advisor

Professor Phil Fitzsimmons

Abstract

Previous research into Australian home education suggests that home educators personalise pedagogy and learning to the needs and interests of the individual child. This study sought to understand this perspective in general and in particular, how one family integrated educational technology [EdTech] into home education of their primary-aged children. The design of this project adapted a qualitative framework that included a bricolage of case study, ethnography and narrative methods. Data was gathered from respondents using semi-structured interviews, observations and researcher reflections and analysed through constant-comparison and grounded theory. The students and their home educating parent identified a variety of aspects that contributed and influenced the integration of EdTech. Central to the integration process was the learning partnership between the parent and the child. This allowed the curriculum and pedagogy to be personalised to the individual strengths, needs and interests of the child, which also appeared to enhance the perceived effectiveness of the EdTech integrated. The ensuing 'Fountain Model' captured this integration process while also proposing a framework for future applications. In addition, this study reconfirmed sections of the previous research that suggested that home education is child-driven, extending this concept to suggest that this process can contribute to empowering student learning. The findings of this case study support the concept that a flexible and collaborative approach to learning, which is also personalised to the individual student, is core to integrating EdTech effectively and meaningfully for students. Examples of possible applications of EdTech are also described, as well as recommendations for further research.

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