Sociocultural Imperatives of Collaborative Social Interactions among Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Children in a Computer Environment


Authors: Mohamad Ibrani Shahrimin Adam Assim, Mohamad Maulana Magiman (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia)
Speakers: Mohamad Ibrani Shahrimin Adam Assim, Mohamad Maulana Magiman
Topic: Language in Real and Virtual Spaces
CALA 2020 General Session


Abstract

This paper seeks to describe the vital traits of sociocultural artifacts within collaborative social interaction patterns exhibited by indigenous and non-indigenous children in a computer environment. The case study method was used in one pre-primary centre in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia, to examine the patterns of collaborative interaction among young children whilst engaged with the computer. To assess the children’s current social skills and computer competence and their general social interaction with peers, the researcher interviewed the children and their teacher using a semi-structured interview schedule to guide the discussion. Both observational comments and descriptions and data analyses were presented with anecdotes. 243 interactions were identified and classified into 16 interaction patterns. Frequency of occurrence of identified interactions was analysed in the form of descriptive statistics. Factors facilitating the collaborative interaction of children whilst engaged with the computer activities were found to be related to the sociological imperatives of the immediate contexts of the social interactions involved. Associated with the main findings were three major variables: (1) the classroom teacher variable (philosophy and educational beliefs, task-structure and computer management); (2) the software variable (sociocultural appropriateness, developmentally appropriateness, content, design, and programmed task-structure); and (3) the child variable (computer competency and attitude towards computer, social goals, social skills, and personal relationship with collaborators). By identifying the imperatives of sociocultural traits of collaborative social interactions of children, and factors that may facilitate or inhibit these interactions, sociologists, social anthropologists, educationists, linguists, and early childhood educators will be in a better position to integrate the computer into their classroom and to promote positive sociocultural-appropriate prosocial interaction among indigenous and non-indigenous children whilst engaged at the computer.

Keywords: Sociocultural imperatives, collaborative social interactions, indigenous and non-indigenous children