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Definition

Baker, F. (2014) Tensions in Policy and Practice: Influences on Play in Abu Dhabi's New School Model KG Framework (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This article reports on three salient socio-cultural and systemic factors that are influential in play in Abu Dhabi Education Council's (ADEC's) kindergarten (KG) framework from the teacher perspective. Anecdotal evidence suggests that during ADEC's progressive educational reform, emphasis has reverted to academic performance outcomes rather than whole child learning through play. Tensions may then occur surrounding the nature and extent of play practices for early learning. Following semi-structured interviews with 60 KG teachers, three salient factors emerged. These are illustrated in this article and discussed in light of the international literature on play. Tensions in policy and practice highlighted in this article are: a focus on academic performance outcomes; children's readiness to engage in play and parent perspectives on play. The article then discusses what these tensions may mean for the future of play in ADEC KGs situated within a period of educational reform.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
184
Page/s:
1830-1842
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • Playful learning
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Qualitative methodology
Relevant age group/s:

Canning, N. (2013) "Where's the Bear? Over There!"--Creative Thinking and Imagination in Den Making (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This small scale research project examines opportunities for creative thinking and imagination through den making in a rural private day nursery with its own woodland area on the borders of England and Wales in the UK. The research is underpinned by sociocultural theory and is an ethnographic study of non-participant observations of children aged between three and four years old and early years practitioners involved in supporting their play. The focus is on children's creative play in peer social groups and examines the way in which children explore their environment and utilise their play space and resources to sustain imagination and creativity. The research considers how the environment and den-making context provides opportunities for possibility thinking [Craft, A. (2001). "Little c creativity." In A. Craft, B. Jeffrey, & M. Liebling (Eds.), "Creativity in education" (pp. 45-61). London: Continuum], where children are encouraged to explore "what if?" questions. The research explores the way in which an outdoor environment can support flexible opportunities and resources where children are able to engage in imaginative and creative play, develop their communication skills and build relationships with other children and adults. The research considers children's fascination with the story "bears in the wood" and how early years practitioners facilitated their creative thinking and imagination.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
183
Page/s:
1042-1053
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Outdoor play
  • Peers play
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

Care, E. et al. (2017) Skills for a Changing World: National Perspectives and the Global Movement (Report)

Abstract:

The Skills for a Changing World project presents evidence
of a movement of education systems globally
toward a more explicit focus on a broad range of skills
that our 21st century society needs and demands. This
movement can be seen in the vision and mission statements
of education systems as well as through their
curricula. Although clearly endorsed at the policy level,
implementation is just beginning in some countries.
The issues surrounding this, particularly in the context
of within-country social and economic changes, are
brought to light in this report by a study of education
stakeholders in four countries—Mexico, South Africa,
Kenya, and the Philippines.
To read more, please click on the URL below.

Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Qualitative methodology
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Fung, C. et al. (2012) Consensus or Dissensus? Stakeholders' Views on the Role of Play in Learning (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Across cultures and eras, children have engaged in play as part of the process of growing and maturing into adulthood. Play has been recognized as an effective form of pedagogy to promote learning in the early years. However, beliefs about what play is and how it should be practiced vary across Hong Kong and in other countries. Because Chinese culture places a heavy emphasis on academic achievement, a play-based curriculum has not been widely implemented in the region. Through classroom observations and interviews with key stakeholders in early childhood education, namely parents, teachers, and principals, this study reveals the complexity of views on this matter and uncovers the root cause of the difficulties in supporting play in the Hong Kong kindergartens. These findings may help promote the play-based curriculum in Hong Kong and other countries where play is in crisis. (Contains 1 table.)

Date:
January 2012
Volume:
32
Page/s:
17-33
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • Cultural context
  • Playful learning
  • Qualitative methodology
Relevant age group/s:

Goodliff, G. (2013) Spirituality Expressed in Creative Learning: Young Children's Imagining Play as Space for Mediating Their Spirituality (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Historically underpinning principles of the English curriculum framework for children from birth to five years explicitly acknowledged a spiritual dimension to children's uniqueness and well-being. Yet spirituality receives scant reference in the discourse of creative learning and teaching. This paper considers the relationship of spirituality to creativity and argues for a greater attentiveness to children's spirituality in early childhood education that acknowledges its presence in expression of children's thinking, creating and imagining. Located within an interpretive paradigm, this ethnographic study of children aged two and three years in a day nursery in England, explores how they express spirituality. A hermeneutic approach underpins the analysis and interpretation of the data. Findings reveal how in imaginative play, most often recognised in the early years curriculum as part of creative development, young children show a capacity for expressing meaning-making and negotiating identity, key dimensions of the spiritual in childhood.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
183
Page/s:
1054-1071
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Pretend play
  • Qualitative methodology
Relevant age group/s:

Othman, S. et al. (2012) Affordances of Cul-de-sac in Urban Neighborhoods as Play Spaces for Middle Childhood Children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study investigates the affordances of cul-de-sac as play space in Malaysian urban neighbourhood for middle childhood children. Behavioral responses of 82 children experiencing two cul-de-sac in two different residential neighbourhoods were elicited using three methods: semi-structured interviews, observations and survey questionnaire. It is found that cul-de-sac with a monotonous, flat landscape with some vegetation offered less affordances to the children than the one that is a slightly slopping landform with a variety of vegetation. In addition, it is not the aesthetic design of the cul-de-sac but the caregiver's permission and the affordances of sociality that encourage the children to play.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2012
Volume:
38
Page/s:
184-194
Synonyms:
  • Free play
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical play
  • Playground
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Social play
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Papadopoulou, M. (2012) The ecology of role play: intentionality and cultural evolution (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study examines the evolutionary function of children’s pretence. The everyday, cultural environment that children engage with is of a highly complex structure. Human adaptation, thus, becomes, by analogy, an equally complex process that requires the development of life skills. Whilst in role play children engage in ‘mimesis’ and recreate the ecology of their world in order to gradually appropriate its structures. Role play enables them to create their group cultures, through which they communally explore and assign meaning to their worlds and themselves in it. The research took place in a Greek state school and employed participant and non-participant observation of the children’s role play sessions. The findings, grouped under four thematic categories, may reflect the players’ adaptation and evolutionary processes but also the expression of their deeply rooted, existential concerns at that particular stage of their development.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
38
Page/s:
575-592
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Pretend play
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:

PEDAL, . et al. (2016) PEDAL Seminar: Bringing Self-Regulated Learning to Classrooms through Research Practice Partnerships (Video Recording)

Abstract:

This seminar will focus on the role of research-practice partnerships in bringing self-regulated learning to classrooms. In her talk, Dr Perry will review the research-practice framework in two separate research projects, addressing some of the challenges associated with traditional approaches to conducting research, challenging notions of control and fidelity.

This seminar hopes to provoke fundamental questions about the role research should play in improving educational practice.

Dr. Nancy Perry is the Dorothy Lam Chair in Special Education and Professor of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada.

Her research has two main goals:

understanding how classroom processes are implicated in children’s development of self-regulated learning (SRL);

working with teachers to design activities and structure interactions with students that support SRL.

Dr. Perry is a main contributor to our understanding that young children can and do regulate for learning, and how classroom tasks, instructional practices, and interpersonal relationships influence their SRL. She is also a leader in the development and use of measures, beyond self-report tools, that reveal children’s self-regulation in situ.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Learning
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Self-regulation
Relevant age group/s:

Pyle, A. et al. (2017) A Continuum of Play-Based Learning: The Role of the Teacher in Play-Based Pedagogy and the Fear of Hijacking Play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Research Findings: Research has demonstrated the developmental and educational benefits of play. Despite these benefits, teacher-directed academic instruction is prominent in kindergarten. There is increasing acknowledgment in curricula and policies of the challenges presented by a lack of play in classrooms and the need to support academic learning using developmentally appropriate practices. Current research emphasizes a narrow definition of play-based learning as a child-directed practice, resulting in teacher uncertainty about the implementation of this pedagogical approach. Fifteen kindergarten classrooms were examined using qualitative methodology, including observations and teacher interviews. Two different teacher profiles emerged: The 1st profile saw play and learning as separate constructs and reported challenges meeting academic demands using play-based learning. Their students primarily engaged in free play. The 2nd profile believed that play could support academic learning and that teachers fill an important role in play. Their students engaged in 5 different types of play, situated along a continuum from child directed to more teacher directed. Practice or Policy: The continuum of play-based learning provides a broader and more concrete definition of play-based learning to help teachers implement this pedagogical approach and to enhance the study of play-based learning in early years research.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
28
Page/s:
274-289
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Games with rules
  • Guided-play
  • Learning
  • Pedagogy
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Qualitative methodology
Relevant age group/s:

Veitch, J. et al. (2006) Where do children usually play? A qualitative study of parents’ perceptions of influences on children's active free-play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study explored the perceptions of 78 parents from low, mid and high socio-economic areas in Melbourne, Australia to increase understanding of where children play and why. Using an ecological model interviews with parents revealed that safety and social factors emerged as key social themes, facilities at parks and playgrounds, and urban design factors emerged as important physical environment themes. The children's level of independence and attitudes to active free-play were considered to be important individual level influences on active free-play. The study findings have important implications for future urban planning and children's opportunities for active free-play.

Date:
January 2006
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
12
Page/s:
383-393
Synonyms:
  • Free play
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Playground
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Socio-economic background
  • Well-being outcomes
Research discipline: