Identifying tools, materials and adhesive methods used in the primary school and factors influencing the opportunities to use them

Powell, Alwyn (2019) Identifying tools, materials and adhesive methods used in the primary school and factors influencing the opportunities to use them. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

The focus of this study was to identify when tools, materials and adhesive methods were introduced into the primary school and to explore the links to the development of fine motor and manipulative skills. A significant phase in child development is located in primary school, which in Queensland schools begins in the prep year and progresses through to year six (ages five to twelve). The formalisation of the curriculum and growing independence of children’s movements means greater access to a wider variety of ideas, understandings, skills, tools and materials as the children progress through the primary school years. It is a child’s right to learn about and access new tools, materials and adhesive methods.

There are expectations that cognitive and creative skills inherent in the STEAM discipline areas will become critical in formal education as part of the skills for the twenty-first century. Paralleling the growth in discipline knowledge is the continued growth of curiosity and wonder, critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication as well as the physical development of the child, including greater control and competence in fine and gross motor skills. Teachers are responsible for providing learning experiences and opportunities that enable the child to develop the strength, dexterity and competence in the use of tools to engage with materials in safe and novel ways.

This study investigated the specific tools and materials accessed throughout primary school via a quantitative survey phase, then followed by a qualitative phase using semi-structured interviews. The survey was completed by one hundred and seventy-two individual teachers (N=172). An initial analysis of this data provided questions for the targeted interviews (N=12).

This study calls into question the experiences and opportunities offered to children in the primary school to learn and grow with the use of tools, materials and adhesive methods as an avenue to explore and develop their curiosity and create new and innovative products for their satisfaction and future employability opportunities. It found that the identified range of tools and materials do not match with current trends in skills and knowledge required for the twenty-first century. Teachers identified limited funding, time, professional skill development and narrowing of the curriculum as major reasons for reduction in the provision of experiences in hands-on activity.

The narrowing focus of educational experiences does not reflect the spirit of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, especially article 29 UNICEF (1989), in physical development nor the practical experiences needed to enhance learning in the science, technology, arts or mathematical fields touted as the disciplines critical for the twenty- first century. The failure of education authorities to ensure effective learning opportunities are enacted has led to the inability of children to effectively develop competencies and strength in fine motor control to use tools, both traditional and modern, and that severely limits their future learning and therefore employability skills. The ability to construct, deconstruct and problem solve new products in the twenty-first century are dependent upon the ability to manipulate and use tool and materials established in primary school.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Supervisors: Albion, Peter; Redmond, Petrea
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 04:43
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2021 01:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: tools, materials, adhesives, primary school,
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390304 Primary education
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.26192/1ns1-tn04
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/36828

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