Parents as teachers: Using parent helpers to guide young children’s technological practice

Louise Milne
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Michael Forret
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand

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Ingår i: PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 73:41, s. 348-354

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Publicerad: 2012-06-18

ISBN: 978-91-7519-849-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Technology Education is one of eight learning areas of the New Zealand national curriculum. It aims to develop a broad technological literacy through students participating in learning programmes in which they engage in technological practice and through this practice develop capability; knowledge and an understanding of technology as a domain in its own right. Experiencing and exploring contemporary examples of technological practice is recognised as an effective way of developing technological literacy and; in this study; students visited a chocolate factory in order to find out how to make a chocolate gift for Mothers’ Day. While the value of learning experiences outside the classroom (LEOTC) is well documented in learning areas such as science; there are few studies which explore LEOTC in Technology and specifically those of junior primary students.

A key element of this process; and the focus of this paper; is the role that parent helpers play in guiding and supporting students during both visits outside the classroom; and construction tasks within the classroom. It also raises the issue of the preparation and scaffolding parents require to enable them to help students effectively carry out these tasks. The role of a parent helper is a crucial one and the data from this study suggests that the status and time given to this preparation is; at times; varied and can have significant impact on children’s learning outcomes.


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