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Definition

Archer, C. et al. (2015) Measuring the Quality of Movement-Play in Early Childhood Education Settings: Linking Movement-Play and Neuroscience (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This article explores the links between neuroscience research, movement, and neurological dysfunction in relation to young children's learning and development. While policymakers have recognised the importance of early development the role of movement has been overlooked. A small scale study was undertaken in four early years settings in a London Borough in order to investigate whether an intervention resulted in improved movement experiences for children. This is the first study to assess the quality of movement-play using a newly developed measuring scale. Results showed that an intervention does result in improved movement experiences for young children. Consistently enhanced results were found in relation to the vital role of the adult at the two intervention settings. For Vygotsky the adult role is critical to the quality of play and learning for the child (Siraj-Blatchford 2009). There is scope for a larger scale piece of research spread across different sectors in order to further test the validity and reliability of the scale.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Volume:
23
Page/s:
21-42
Synonyms:
  • Physical play
  • Play assessment
  • Rough and tumble
  • Teacher/caregiver play

Baumer, S. et al. (2005) Promoting narrative competence through adult–child joint pretense: Lessons from the Scandinavian educational practice of playworld (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This paper examines the effects of the playworld educational practice on the development of narrative competence in 5- to 7-year-old children. The playworld educational practice is derived from play pedagogy and the theory of narrative learning, both developed and implemented in Scandinavia. The playworld practice consists of joint adult–child pretense based in a work of children's literature, discussion, free play, and visual art production. When compared to children under a control intervention (conventional school practices without pretend play), children who participated in the playworld practice show significant improvements in narrative length, coherence, and comprehension, although not in linguistic complexity. These findings provide further evidence concerning the role of pretense in the narrative development of young children.

Date:
January 2005
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
20
Page/s:
576-590
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Pedagogy
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Semiotic play
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:

Canning, N. (2007) Children's empowerment in play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This article examines the level of empowerment and autonomy children can create in their play experiences. It examines the play discourses that children build and maintain and considers the importance of play contexts in supporting children's emotional and social development. These aspects of play are often unseen or misunderstood by the adult observer. The article emphasises the importance of adult‐free play, enabling children to experience a sense of power in their play and explore their awareness of personal and social relationships. It analyses the influence the adult can have on children's play spaces, by bringing an ‘adult agenda’ to the play situation, and how this may ultimately disempower children. Dans le présent exposé, l'auteur examine comment les enfants acquièrent une indépendance et une autonomie par le jeu. Elle examine les discours qu'ils construisent et qu'ils mènent et analyse le rôle joué par les contextes ludiques dans leur développement affectif et social. Souvent, les adultes qui les observent ne remarquent pas ces aspects ou les comprennent mal. L'auteur souligne l'importance des jeux menés à l'écart des adultes, ce qui donne un sentiment de pouvoir aux enfants et les aident à prendre conscience de leurs relations personnelles et sociales. Elle analyse l'influence que peuvent avoir les adultes sur les aires de jeux et décrit comment, en imposant leurs priorités sur la situation de jeu, ils risquent de porter atteinte au sentiment d'indépendance des enfants. In dieser Arbeit wird das Maß an Empowerment und Autonomie untersucht, das Kinder in ihren Spielerfahrungen erleben und herstellen können. Die Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit den Diskursen, die Kinder beim Spielen entwickeln und fortführen, und betrachtet die Bedeutung von Spielumfeldern für die emotionale und soziale Entwicklung von Kindern. Diese Aspekte des Spielens werden vom erwachsenen Beobachter oft übersehen oder missverstanden. Betont wird die Wichtigkeit des Spielens ohne Einfluss von Erwachsenen, wodurch Kinder ein Gefühl von Selbstbestimmung erleben und ihre Wahrnehmung persönlicher und sozialer Beziehungen ergründen können. In dieser Arbeit wird zudem analysiert, welchen Einfluss Erwachsene unter Umständen auf Spielumgebungen von Kindern haben, indem sie ‘Erwachsenen‐Interessen’ in die Spielsituation einbringen, und wie dies Kinder letztendlich entmächtigen kann. El presente trabajo de investigación examina el nivel de capacitación y autonomía que los niños crean en sus experiencias de juego. En él se examinan los discursos del juego que los niños crean y mantienen, y se analiza la importancia de los contextos de juego en el sostenimiento del desarrollo afectivo y social del niño. A menudo, estos aspectos del juego pasan desapercibidos o son malinterpretados por el observador adulto. El presente trabajo hace hincapié en la importancia del juego sin la presencia de adultos, que permita a los niños experimentar una sensación de dominio durante el juego y explorar su consciencia de las relaciones personales y sociales. El documento analiza asimismo la influencia que ejerce el adulto sobre los espacios de juego infantiles, al incorporar sus ‘planes adultos’ a una situación de juego, y cómo, en última instancia, esto puede ir en detrimento de la capacitación a los niños.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2007
Volume:
15
Page/s:
227-236
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Literature review
  • Peers play
  • Social-emotional
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Cugmas, Z. (2011) Relation between Children's Attachment to Kindergarten Teachers, Personality Characteristics and Play Activities (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to develop the "observational scheme of child's free play in kindergarten" (OFP) and examine the associations between "child's attachment to his/her kindergarten teacher" (CAKT) and: (1) cognitive and social play behaviour, (2) child's contacts with his/her peers and teacher during free play session in kindergarten, and (3) child's personality characteristics. One hundred and one children (57.4% male) participated in the research. Children's ages ranged from 24 to 74 months (M = 51.4; SD = 12.0). Trained observers filled in the OFP, CAKT and the "inventory of child individual differences" (ICID). Play behaviour was observed at kindergarten during free play sessions of 60 minutes, and cognitive and social play categories were coded. Metric characteristics of the OFP appeared to be satisfactory. Results revealed significant correlations between children's secure and resistance attachment to their kindergarten teachers and cooperative play, the contacts with their peers and teachers during free play session in kindergarten and their personality characteristics. In future, it will be necessary to analyse the causational associations between discovered variables. (Contains 9 tables.)

Author/s:
Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
181
Page/s:
1271-1289
Synonyms:
  • Correlational
  • Peers play
  • Social play
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

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:

NCCA, . et al. (2017) How can practitioners support children’s learning through play (3-6 years) (Video Recording)

Abstract:
Author/s:
Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Free play
  • Guided-play
  • Physical play
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Social play
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:

Nicolopoulou, A. et al. (2013) What Do We Know about Pretend Play and Narrative Development? A Response to Lillard, Lerner, Hopkins, Dore, Smith, and Palmquist on" The Impact of Pretend Play on Children's Development: A Review of the Evidence". (Journal Article)

Abstract:

An article by Angeline S. Lillard and others in the January 2013 issue of Psychologi- cal Bulletin comprehensively reviewed and criticized the existing body of research on pretend play and children’s development. Nicolopoulou and Ilgaz respond specifically to the article’s critical review of research on play and narrative devel- opment, focusing especially on its assessment of research—mostly conducted during the 1970s and 1980s—on play-based narrative interventions. The authors consider that assessment overly negative and dismissive. On the contrary, they find this research strong and valuable, offering some solid evidence of beneficial effects of pretend play for narrative development. They argue that the account of this research by Lillard and her colleagues was incomplete and misleading; that their treatment of relevant studies failed to situate them in the context of a devel- oping research program; and that a number of their criticisms were misplaced, overstated, conceptually problematic, or all of the above. They conclude that this research—while not without flaws, gaps, limitations, unanswered questions, and room for improvement—offers more useful resources and guidance for future research than Lillard and her colleagues acknowledged. Key words: narrative skills; pretend play and child development; research assessments.

Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
6
Page/s:
55–81
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Learning
  • Peers play
  • Pretend play
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Vu, J. et al. (2015) The effects of in-service training on teachers’ beliefs and practices in children's play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Early childhood educators are often aware of the general importance of play in children's development; however, they are often less aware of how play can support both academic and social learning and what their own roles can be in children's play. In this study, we examined the effect that professional development training about play would have on early childhood teachers' beliefs about and practices in supporting play. Educators' beliefs did not change after training: they generally believed that play was relevant to both social and cognitive skill development and that play had many benefits both before and after their training. After training, teachers were more engaged with children during play and these roles were related to children's cognitive and social play categories. In a time of increasing academization of the early childhood years, these findings highlight the importance of providing professional development opportunities about play to early childhood professionals in order to remind and inform them of the important role that play can have in the early childhood curriculum.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
23
Page/s:
444-460
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Functional play
  • Learning
  • Peers play
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Social play
  • Teacher/caregiver play
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

Whitebread, D. (2012) The Importance of Play (Journal Article)

Abstract:
Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
55
Synonyms:
  • Games with rules
  • Mental health
  • Object play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Pretend play
  • Symbolic play
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: