Disputation i pedagogik: Marina Wernholm

Titel: Children’s learning at play in a hybrid reality (Barns lärande i lek i en hybrid verklighet)
Ämne: Pedagogik
Fakultet: Fakulteten för samhällsvetenskap

Datum: Fredagen den 18 september 2020
Plats: Sal Fullriggaren (Ma135), hus Magna, Kalmar, och via Zoom - klicka här för länk. Zoom-rummet låses en kvart efter disputationens start. Meeting ID: 657 4552 3779, Passcode: 857009 

Opponent: Professor Roger Säljö, Göteborgs universitet
Betygsnämnd: Docent Fredrik Lindstrand, Konstfack
Professor Lena Fritzén, Institutionen för pedagogik och lärande, Fakulteten för samhällsvetenskap
Professor Anita Mirijamdotter, Institutionen för informatik, Fakulteten för teknik
Ordförande: Professor Anette Emilson, Institutionen för didaktik och lärares praktik, Fakulteten för samhällsvetenskap
Huvudhandledare: Professor Anette Emilson, Institutionen för didaktik och lärares praktik, Fakulteten för samhällsvetenskap
Biträdande handledare: Docent Linda Reneland-Forsman, Sektionen för högskolepedagogik, Universitetsbiblioteket

Examinator: Professor Italo Masiello, Institutionen för datavetenskap och medieteknik, Fakulteten för teknik

Spikning: Fredagen den 28 augusti kl 13.15 på Universitetsbiblioteket i Kalmar


This compilation thesis contributes with knowledge on children’s (8–12 years of age) out-of-school play in digital communities. The focus is on how these communities can be understood as learning practices in a hybrid reality. The thesis includes a summary chapter and four studies, and the aims and research questions are specific for each study. The overarching research question guiding the thesis is the following: How can children’s learning activities in digital communities be understood as play? The theoretical base is Lave and Wenger’s social theory of learning, chosen for its view of learning as always situated, of knowledge as socially mediated, and of learning as a process of participation in communities of practice. A number of methods, such as interviews, video-recorded play sessions and video-stimulated recall are used, all capturing the children’s own voices and activities, contributing to a nuanced understanding of children’s out-of-school play in digital communities.

Main findings reveal that familiar characteristics of play take slightly different forms in children’s play in a hybrid reality. Grit emerges as a new characteristic of play. Findings indicate that children through participation in digital play-practices develop both learning and teaching strategies: strategies that appear to have an impact on other contexts when used to, for example, formulate and answer questions, and to imitate or demonstrate an action. The empirical models and conceptual frameworks generated in the thesis can be applied to and guide educational transformations if children and their play-practices are given a prominent role. The main conclusion is the hybrid character of play, resulting in an altered framing, which is perceived differently by children and adults. Another important conclusion is the more nuanced image of the playing child in comparison with previous research. There is an obvious need for schools to consider and acknowledge the whole range of experiences that children have, in order to understand and support their becoming citizens in a digitized society. The question is if society is ready for their skills.

Key words: Digital communities, Grit, Hybrid reality, Multimodality, Participation