2023 RTP round - See what I can do with digital technologies: Children Engaging, Exploring and Explaining
Applications open: 8/07/2022
Applications close: 18/08/2022
About this scholarship
The ability to think critically and creatively is acknowledged as a fundamental requisite skill for success in an increasingly digitalised twenty-first century. The need to foster this ability in future generations is a key General Capability embedded within the Australian Curriculum but as yet, the potential of digital tools to enhance critical and creative thinking remains largely untapped, especially among young children.
The fundamental aim of this PhD project is to investigate the potential of a range of existing digital technologies to encourage critical and creative thinking in young children as evidenced through representations of their learning. In collaboration with the Science Discovery Centre the project will: 1) identify design features across a range of digital technologies with the potential to facilitate children’s creativity in STEM, 2) evaluate these technologies with regard to motivating children’s creative engagement and 3) assess children’s creative thinking as evident in their digital representations.
As part of an innovative project design, the successful PhD researcher will employ an Action research approach in collaboration with STEM communicators from Scitech. With ethics approval and informed consent from all participants including children aged 5 - 8 years, existing digital devices and softwares will be assessed for their potential in facilitating children’s creative decision making and imaginative application when using digital devices and software for representing and sharing their experiences and learning. This age group is specifically targeted because while many studies have examined the digital STEM experiences of educators and older children, very few have focused on younger children in informal learning environments.
Video observations cameras will be placed in the informal Scitech learning environment and the successful PhD researcher will use portable wireless video cameras with integrated audio to capture children’s engagement with digital technologies in the selected contexts. Methods for video data capturing, linking, surfacing and analysis will be developed and refined in practice through this PhD program. As an ongoing component of this project, innovative design features of cameras and their video analytics capacity will be investigated for effectiveness in supporting analyses of children’s access to age-appropriate digital devices and the nature of their use. Quality video capturing will enable multimodal analyses of the data and an exploration of the nature of children’s engagement, and both observed and real evidence of their creative thinking with the various technologies.
An immediate outcome of this project will be an increased understanding of the educative potential of a range of digital technologies in encouraging young children’s creative thinking as they are representing their experiences and learning. The proposed research program has the potential for transforming pedagogy into STEM and early years education.
The PhD researcher would be housed within the Curtin node of the ARC Centre of Excellence (CoE) for the Digital Child (www.digitalchild.org.au) to ensure ethical collection, management and analysis of video data capturing young children’s digitised creative STEM experiences. This important PhD research program will contribute to building the capacity for ongoing and critical appraisal of the digitisation of childhood.
Applicants are encouraged to apply who have an education background and an interest in STEM, digital technologies and children’s creativity. The PhD candidate should have an inquiring mind, as they will be engaged with problem-solving, and pragmatic decision-making in relation to the video capturing of children’s digital play and evaluating and assessing learning with technologies. The successful candidate should have strong communication skills and a high standard of academic writing. Their qualitative research skills should include the ability to conduct a comprehensive literature review, manage video camera set up and digital file management and, an openness to learning and using multimodal analysis software.
An Internship opportunity may also be available with this project.
- Future Students
- Faculty of Humanities
- Higher Degree by Research
- Australian Citizen
- Australian Permanent Resident
- New Zealand Citizen
- Permanent Humanitarian Visa
- Merit Based
The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. $60,000 - $70,000 p.a.
Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100% fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022.
For detailed information, visit: Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships | Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
All applicable HDR courses
Applicants are encouraged to apply who have an education background and an interest in STEM, digital technologies and children’s creativity.
The PhD candidate should have an inquiring mind, as they will be engaged with problem-solving, and pragmatic decision-making in relation to the video capturing of children’s digital play and evaluating and assessing learning with technologies.
The successful candidate should have strong communication skills and a high standard of academic writing.
Their qualitative research skills should include the ability to conduct a comprehensive literature review, manage video camera set up and digital file management and, an openness to learning and using multimodal analysis software.
If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should contact the Project Lead (listed below in the enquires section) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.
Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2023
To enquire about this project opportunity that includes a scholarship application, contact the Project lead, Associate Professor Karen Murcia via the EOI form above.