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Definition

Whitebread, D. et al. (2007) Development of Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning in Young Children: Role of Collaborative and Peer-Assisted Learning (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The authors present findings from a large 2-year study exploring the development of self-regulatory and metacognitive abilities in young children (aged 3 to 5 years) in educational naturalistic settings in the United Kingdom (English Nursery and Reception classrooms). Three levels of analysis were conducted based on observational codings of categories of metacognitive and self-regulatory behaviors. These analyses supported the view that, within the 3- to 5-year age range, there was extensive evidence of metacognitive behaviors that occurred most frequently during learning activities that were initiated by the children, involved them in working in pairs or small groups, unsupervised by adults, and that involved extensive collaboration and talk (i.e., learning contexts that might be characterized as peer-assisted learning). Relative to working individually or
in groups with adult support, children in this age range working in unsupervised small groups showed more evidence of metacognitive monitoring and control. Relative to children in supervised groups, they also showed more evidence of "other" and "shared" regulation. The implications for research,
theory, and educational practice are discussed.

Date:
January 2007
Volume:
6
Page/s:
433-455
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Learning
  • Metacognition
  • Self-regulation
Relevant age group/s:

Whitebread, D. et al. (2009) Play, cognition and self-regulation: What exactly are children learning when they learn through play? (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This paper explores the particular aspects of learning which might be supported through playful activity and reviews research and theory which link children’s play, and particularly pretence or symbolic play, to the development of metacognitive and self-regulatory skills. Three studies are reported, one observational and two experimental, which have explored this
relationship. The observational study involved the video-recording of 582 metacognitive or self-regulatory ‘events’ within Foundation Stage settings. The two experimental studies replicated in different learning domains the classic study of Sylva, Bruner and Genova (1976), which contrasted the problem-solving performance of 3- to 5-year-old children who had experienced a ‘taught’ and ‘play’ condition. Evidence from the present studies reported and other studies supports the view that play, and
particularly pretence or symbolic play, which might be with objects or other children, is particularly significant in its contribution to the development of children as metacognitively skilful, self-regulated learners. Evidence from the observational study indicated that child-initiated playful activities, in small groups without adult supervision, supported the greatest proportion of self-regulatory behaviours. The experimental studies suggested that the experience of the ‘play’ condition was particularly effective in preparing the children for effortful, problem-solving or creative tasks which require a high level of metacognitive and self-regulatory skill. Metacognitive and self-regulatory development is crucially important in the development of academic skills which involve intentional learning, problem-solving and creativity. An understanding of the relationship between pretend or symbolic play and self-regulation is also helpful in providing clear guidelines for adults working with young children as regards their role in supporting and encouraging play in educational contexts.

Date:
January 2009
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
26
Page/s:
40
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Learning
  • Metacognition
  • Pretend play
  • Self-regulation
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:

Whitebread, D. et al. (2012) Preschool children's social pretend play: supporting the development of metacommunication, metacognition and self-regulation (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This paper presents an overview of the conceptual, developmental and functional aspects of metacommunication in preschool children's social pretend play. While the relationship between the representational aspects of social pretend play and positive developmental outcomes is well researched, metacommunicaton in social pretend play remains a largely under-researched phenomenon. A definition of social pretend play is proposed leading to propositions as to its specific functions for young children's learning and development. In particular, it is hypothesised that the development of metacommunication during social pretend play may make an important contribution to the early development of metacognition and self-regulation. Having proposed these specific functions for metacommunication, the implications of this for adult involvement in naturally occurring social pretend play are discussed. Identifying more specifically the components of social pretend play which support specific aspects of learning can inform pedagogical innovations, and the realisation of the full educational potential of social pretend play. While this review highlights some important conceptual, developmental and pedagogical issues in relation to metacommunicaton in social pretend play, these aspects clearly require elaboration. Suggestions are made for further research on metacommunciation development, and the conditions which support its emergence and development.

Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
1
Page/s:
197-213
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literature review
  • Metacognition
  • Pedagogy
  • Peers play
  • Pretend play
  • Self-regulation
  • Social cognition
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Yu, S. et al. (2015) The Relationship between Preschoolers' Attitudes and Play Behaviors toward Classmates with Disabilities (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study was conducted to examine the relationship between 32 typically developing preschoolers' attitudes and play behaviors toward their classmates with disabilities or developmental delays. Children's attitudes toward peers with disabilities were assessed using three methods: child interviews, sociometric peer ratings, and a social acceptance scale. Children's play behaviors (e.g., solitary, onlooker, parallel play, associative/cooperative play) and teachers' involvement in children's play were observed during free play over a 10-week period. Results revealed that children's identification of a classmate with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as having a disability was negatively related to their associative/cooperative play with the classmate. Typically developing children's sociometric ratings of classmates with disabilities were positively related to their associative/cooperative play with classmates with disabilities. In addition, children's sociometric ratings were a stronger indicator of whether a typically developing child would play with a classmate with a disability than was identification of a classmate as having a disability. Suggestions for future research and implications for practice are discussed.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
35
Page/s:
40-51
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Collaborative skills
  • Correlational
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Peers play
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Zachariou, A. et al. (2015) Musical play and self-regulation: does musical play allow for the emergence of self-regulatory behaviours? (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This paper is a pioneering attempt to bring together the notions of musical play and self-regulation and reports on a study aiming to explore 6-year-old children's self-regulation during musical play. While musical play is one of the first manifestations of musicality, a fundamental aspect of human functioning [Trevarthen, C. (2000). Musicality and the intrinsic motive pulse: Evidence from human psychobiology and infant communication. Musicae Scientiae, 3(1), 155–215], self-regulation is crucial in children's learning. Self-regulatory abilities flourish in playful contexts [Bruner, J. S. (1972). Nature and uses of immaturity. American Psychologist, 27(8), 687–708], since play's specific characteristics promote self-regulatory development. Even though musical play shows these characteristics, its relationship with self-regulation is under-researched. This paper presents observations of ten 6-year-old children while they were engaged in musical play sessions. Having adopted a mixed-methods approach, the results suggested that musical play allowed for self-regulatory behaviours to emerge. An understanding of the link between musical play and self-regulation could inform not only the theoretical underpinnings suggesting a relationship between play and self-regulation, but also current teaching practice in relation to music education.

Date:
January 2015
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
4
Page/s:
116-135
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Guided-play
  • Metacognition
  • Musical play
  • Playful learning
  • Self-regulation
  • Semiotic play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Zyga, O. et al. (2015) Assessment of Pretend Play in Prader-Willi Syndrome: A Direct Comparison to Autism Spectrum Disorder (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) are at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including pervasive social deficits. While play impairments in ASD are well documented, play abilities in PWS have not been evaluated. Fourteen children with PWS and ten children with ASD were administered the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) (Lord et al. in Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule manual. Western Psychological Services, Los Angeles, 2006) as part of a larger project. A modified Affect in Play Scale (APS; Russ in Play in child development and psychotherapy: toward empirically supported practice. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, Mahwah, 2004; Pretend play in childhood: foundation of adult creativity. APA Books, Washington, 2014) was used to score ADOS play activities. Results indicate both groups scored below normative data on measures of imagination, organization, and affective expression during individual play. In addition, the inclusion of a play partner in both groups increased all scaled scores on the APS. These findings suggest children with PWS show impaired pretend play abilities similar to ASD. Further research is warranted and should focus on constructing and validating programs aimed at improving symbolic and functional play abilities within these populations.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
45
Page/s:
975-987
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
  • Solitary play
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: