01 January 2009
This research project was designed as an initial exploratory phase of Dream Catcher's development. It aimed to investigate the ideas informing Dream Catcher rather than to develop a prototype of the Dream Catcher tool itself.
Digital cameras and PDAs were used as Dream Catchers and two-week trials were undertaken by two early years settings in Bath and Manchester in December 2008.
- Benefits of the Dream Catcher concept: Overall the trials demonstrated that the idea of Dream Catcher has considerable potential as a tool which can help explore children's informal learning, support child voice and facilitate the active role of the child in valuable three-way interactions between children, the home and the early years setting.
- “Good idea; wrong technology”: Research participants voiced strong support for the idea behind Dream Catcher. However, there were several difficulties experienced with the technology used in the Dream Catcher trials. Participants provided several useful suggestions for improvement of the Dream Catcher tool and these suggestions should be carefully considered in future development of the Dream Catcher project.
- Dream Catcher as a child-centred approach: Dream Catcher was found to be valuable in supporting creative and interactive child-centred approaches and practices in the early years.