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Definition

DeLoache, J. et al. (1985) The Development of Error Correction Strategies in Young Children's Manipulative Play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The focus of this study was the strategies used by young children between 18 and 42 months for correcting the errors they made as they attempted to nest a set of 5 seriated cups. In the process of combining the cups, the children committed numerous errors (such as putting a cup that was too large on a smaller cup), and they tried to correct the majority of those errors. Detailed examination of the children's correction attempts revealed that the strategies they used changed substantially with age, becoming increasingly more flexible and involving more extensive restructuring of the relations among the cups. Earlier correction attempts tended to focus on a single, nonfitting cup or on a single relation between 2 cups. Later-appearing strategies involved the coordination of relations involving several cups. The same trend toward increasing flexibility of thought and action also appeared in the procedures the children used to combine the cups. This study thus documents a finely graded series of cognitively significant changes in children's constructive activity during a period that has been poorly differentiated by cognitive developmental research. In so doing, it demonstrates the usefulness for problem-solving research of analyzing how subjects go about trying to rectify their own mistakes.

Date:
January 1985
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
56
Page/s:
928-939
Synonyms:
  • Cross-sectional
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Functional play
  • Object play
  • Problem-solving
Research discipline:

Kelly-Vance, L. et al. (2014) Best Practices in Play Assessment and Intervention (Book Section)

Abstract:
Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
261-272
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
  • Problem-solving

Leong, D. et al. (2012) Assessing and Scaffolding: Make-Believe Play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

It is the third week that Ms. Sotto's preschool classroom has been turned into an airport. The literacy center is a ticket counter, with a travel agency complete with child-made passports, tickets, and travel brochures. What is happening in Ms. Sotto's classroom is an example of what most early childhood educators mean when they talk about make-believe play--a fantasy world created by children where their imagination soars, their language expands, and their social skills develop. Mature make-believe play is an important and unique context, providing opportunities to learn not afforded by other classroom activities. It should not be considered something extra that can be cut to accommodate more time for academic skills, nor should it be used as a means of adding "entertainment value" for inherently boring and decontextualized drills. Instead, play should be preserved and nurtured as one of the "uniquely preschool" activities that provide the most beneficial context for children's development.

Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
67
Page/s:
28-34
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-regulation
  • Social-emotional
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:

Lillard, A. (2012) Preschool children's development in classic Montessori, supplemented Montessori, and conventional programs (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Research on the outcomes of Montessori education is scarce and results are inconsistent. One possible reason for the inconsistency is variations in Montessori implementation fidelity. To test whether outcomes vary according to implementation fidelity, we examined preschool children enrolled in high fidelity classic Montessori programs, lower fidelity Montessori programs that supplemented the program with conventional school activities, and, for comparison, conventional programs. Children were tested at the start and end of the school year on a range of social and academic skills. Although they performed no better in the fall, children in Classic Montessori programs, as compared with children in Supplemented Montessori and Conventional programs, showed significantly greater school-year gains on outcome measures of executive function, reading, math, vocabulary, and social problem-solving, suggesting that high fidelity Montessori implementation is associated with better outcomes than lower fidelity Montessori programs or conventional programs.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
50
Page/s:
379-401
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Social cognition
  • Social-emotional
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:

Lillard, A. et al. (2013) The impact of pretend play on children's development: A review of the evidence (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Pretend play has been claimed to be crucial to children's healthy development. Here we examine evidence for this position versus 2 alternatives: Pretend play is 1 of many routes to positive developments (equifinality), and pretend play is an epiphenomenon of other factors that drive development. Evidence from several domains is considered. For language, narrative, and emotion regulation, the research conducted to date is consistent with all 3 positions but insufficient to draw conclusions. For executive function and social skills, existing research leans against the crucial causal position but is insufficient to differentiate the other 2. For reasoning, equifinality is definitely supported, ruling out a crucially causal position but still leaving open the possibility that pretend play is epiphenomenal. For problem solving, there is no compelling evidence that pretend play helps or is even a correlate. For creativity, intelligence, conservation, and theory of mind, inconsistent correlational results from sound studies and nonreplication with masked experimenters are problematic for a causal position, and some good studies favor an epiphenomenon position in which child, adult, and environment characteristics that go along with play are the true causal agents. We end by considering epiphenomenalism more deeply and discussing implications for preschool settings and further research in this domain. Our take-away message is that existing evidence does not support strong causal claims about the unique importance of pretend play for development and that much more and better research is essential for clarifying its possible role. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
139
Page/s:
1-34
Synonyms:
  • Affective behaviour
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Pretend play
  • Pro-social behaviour
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-regulation
  • Social cognition
  • Social-emotional
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

McInnes, K. et al. (2009) Behavioural differences exhibited by children when practising a task under formal and playful conditions (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Play is viewed as central to learning in the early years despite a lack of empirical evidence to support this. Most research has concentrated on adult definitions of play which fail to capture the intrinsic quality of playfulness. To achieve this it is necessary to elicit children's definitions of play. The research discussed in this paper utilises children's definitions of play to create formal and playful practice conditions to demonstrate the links between playfulness and learning. In addition, analysis of videotaped observations indicates behavioural differences according to whether children participate in playful or formal practice conditions. These findings support a behavioural threshold and fluency theory of play. Children in the playful condition exhibited more fluent and purposeful problem solving behaviours than children in the formal condition. Implications for practitioners in educational settings are outlined.

Date:
January 2009
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
26
Page/s:
31-39
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Cooperative play
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Engagement
  • Games with rules
  • Learning
  • Object play
  • Playfulness
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-regulation
  • Semiotic play
  • Social-emotional
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

NCCA, . et al. (2017) Why is play import for young children (3-6 years) from NCCA on Vimeo (Video Recording)

Abstract:
Author/s:
Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Games with rules
  • Language
  • Object play
  • Physical play
  • Pretend play
  • Problem-solving
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

PEDAL, . (2018) PEDAL - Play at the Extremes: A panel discussion for parents, teachers and carers (Video Recording)

Abstract:

Join PEDAL in the conversation about the changing nature of childhood…are we really heading from 'free range' to 'hot house'? Is the Children's Commissioner for England correct when she calls for play on prescription and claims that children lead a "battery hen existence" (more info in the report 'Playing Out')?

Chaired by one of PEDAL’s lead researchers, Dr Jenny Gibson, the panel of speakers comprise of:

Kathryn Lester (University of Sussex – an academic who researches anxiety in children);
Nicola Butler (Chair of Play England’s Board of Trustees and Director of Hackney Play Association – managing Homerton Grove Adventure Playground);
Tim Gill (a researcher, writer and consultant on childhood).
Stephen Mitchell (Chair, Parkour UK & consultant)
Come and join us for this lively and topical debate.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2018
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Pretend play
  • Problem-solving
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:

PEDAL, . et al. (2017) PEDAL Seminar: Pretence and Creativity during Childhood and Beyond (Video Recording)

Abstract:

Dr Julie Kirkham is a senior Psychology lecturer and programme leader for the MScFamily and Child Psychology at the University of Chester. Her research interests include children’s symbolic development and the role of art, play and creativity within different educational curricula. Her
published work investigates the relationships between language, drawing and symbolic play and the influence of Montessori and Steiner education upon these abilities. Dr Kirkham is currently involved in research studying the relationship between childhood fantasy play, imaginary
friends and personality traits and abilities during adulthood, as well as the development of children’s aesthetic understanding and preferences
for different forms of art.

The seminar will consider several small scale exploratory studies which present interesting results and potential avenues for further research.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Pretend play
  • Problem-solving
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:

PEDAL, . et al. (2019) PEDAL Seminar: Toddlers Think for Themselves! (Video Recording)

Abstract:

Social learning has been a large focus of early developmental psychology for the past three decades. While it reveals how culture is transmitted to young children, questions about how young children come up with their own ideas and learn for themselves have been largely ignored.

This talk, with Dr Elena Hoicka from the University of Bristol, will present research showing that toddlers can be creative and come up with their own ideas. Elena will focus on toddlers' creation of their own novel jokes and pretending, and toddlers' divergent thinking with novel objects.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2019
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Humour
  • Language
  • Pretend play
  • Problem-solving
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s: