SHAPING THE “HABITS OF MIND” OF DIVERSE LEARNERS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS THROUGH POWERPOINT: AN ILLUSTRATIVE CASE
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This study examines the use of PowerPoint as a teaching tool in a workplace-embedded program aimed at bridging immigrant/refugee early childhood educators into post-secondary studies, and how, in the process, it shapes students’ “habits of mind” (Turkle, 2004). The premise of the study is that it is not only the bodies of knowledge shaping teacher education programs which must be interrogated, but also the ways in which instructors and programs choose to represent and impart these understandings to students. The use of PowerPoint to advance an authoritative western, linear, rule-governed form of logic is analysed based on McLuhan and McLuhan’s (1988) and Adams’ (2006) tetrads. The findings demonstrate that PowerPoint enhances western authoritative ways of being through its modes of communication and representation, means of organizing information, forms of representing content and pedagogical approaches, thus obsolescing or displacing immigrant/refugee students’ own indigenous ways of knowing. Since learning always involves the development, integration, and reorganization of tools, and the medium is an extension of the self (McLuhan, 2003), the students should have multimodal opportunities to engage with and represent knowledge. When such opportunities are not provided, the life experiences and cultural knowledges of immigrant/refugee students are silenced. Expanding communicative and representative forms in early childhood teacher education programs is necessary to promote a more inclusive environment.
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