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Digital competence as interactional accomplishment: An ethnography of early enactments of the DCF

Jimenez, Patricia 2023. Digital competence as interactional accomplishment: An ethnography of early enactments of the DCF. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Recent years have witnessed the reform of UK national education curriculums, with an emphasis on rethinking ICT and computing as teaching subjects. In Wales, the Digital Competence Framework (DCF), a cross-curricular framework, was the first element of the Curriculum for Wales 2022 made available to schools. Drawing from an ethnographic study of a primary school in Wales, I explore how this framework is enacted, what sort of troubles arise, and the methods for solving these in situ. Bringing together tropes and sentiments from science and technology studies (STS), digital sociology, and the sociology of education, I consider the classroom as a site ripe for examining setting-specific dynamics and practices of knowledge production. This primarily involves combining an ethnographic sensibility with an ethnomethodological orientation to the study of knowledge as an interactional accomplishment. First, I show how pedagogical dialogues enable the introduction of technical vocabulary, and how pupils and teachers rely on occasioned interpretive procedures for this. Second, I explore the production of instructions for an ICT independent learning activity, in particular, the collaborative accomplishment of understanding instructions in-action. Third, I capture an instance in which insufficient instruction to access an online assignment unveils the delicacy of classroom order, and the practical and moral implications of producing an instructional repair. Taken together, these occasions offer an account of the interactional work involved in accomplishing classroom-specific-work, with special attention afforded to the situated detail of classroom activities as instances of DCF enactments. I show, then, how a new policy is translated into practice, and examine ways in which digital competence is locally and interactionally accomplished. As Wales looks to pioneer digital education, this study provides an early portrait and analysis of just how this happens, and how it is made possible, within Welsh primary education. It contributes theoretical and methodological debates about the study of technology in use and digital education in practice, whilst prioritising practical details, it proves to be informative for teachers and policy makers alike.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 October 2023
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2023 15:01

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