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Barnett, W. et al. (2008) Educational effects of the Tools of the Mind curriculum: A randomized trial (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The effectiveness of the Tools of the Mind (Tools) curriculum in improving the education of 3- and 4-year-old children was evaluated by means of a randomized trial. The Tools curriculum, based on the work of Vygotsky, focuses on the development of self-regulation at the same time as teaching literacy and mathematics skills in a way that is socially mediated by peers and teachers and with a focus on play. The control group experienced an established district-created model described as a “balanced literacy curriculum with themes.” Teachers and students were randomly assigned to either treatment or control classrooms. Children (88 Tools and 122 control) were compared on social behavior, language, and literacy growth. The Tools curriculum was found to improve classroom quality and children's executive function as indicated by lower scores on a problem behavior scale. There were indications that Tools also improved children's language development, but these effects were smaller and did not reach conventional levels of statistical significance in multi-level models or after adjustments for multiple comparisons. Our findings indicate that a developmentally appropriate curriculum with a strong emphasis on play can enhance learning and development so as to improve both the social and academic success of young children. Moreover, it is suggested that to the extent child care commonly increases behavior problems this outcome may be reversed through the use of more appropriate curricula that actually enhance self-regulation.

Date:
January 2008
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
23
Page/s:
299-313
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Language
  • Learning
  • Literacy
  • Pretend play
  • Self-regulation
Relevant age group/s:

Bulotsky-Shearer, R. et al. (2016) The validity of interactive peer play competencies for Latino preschool children from low-income households (Journal Article)

Abstract:

In accord with a strength-based, eco-cultural model, the present study examined the validity a the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale-Teacher report (PIPPS-T; Fantuzzo, Coolahan, Mendez, McDermott, & Sutton-Smith, 1998) for use with Latino preschool children from low-income backgrounds. Capitalizing upon a large, statewide sample of Latino children (N=824, M age = 52.54 months (SD = 8.73)), exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified three reliable and distinct dimensions of peer social competence: Play Interaction, Play Disruption, and Play Disconnection. Findings from multilevel models controlling for program, family, and child demographic variables, provided criterion-related validity for the three dimensions with some differential associations to concurrent assessments of children's learning-related and pre-academic skills at the end the Head Start year. Study findings extend prior research, supporting the utility of the PIPPS to assess the construct of peer social competence for Latino children from low-income backgrounds. Implications for early childhood research, practice, and policy are discussed. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
34
Page/s:
78-91
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Cultural context
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Play assessment
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Scale validation
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:
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Elias, C. et al. (2002) Self-regulation in young children: Is there a role for sociodramatic play? (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study tested Vygotsky’s assumption that sociodramatic play in early childhood contributes importantly to the development of self-regulation. It also explored whether the link between sociodramatic play and self-regulation differs for impulsive and nonimpulsive preschoolers. In a short-term longitudinal design, 51 middle-income 3- and 4-year-olds were observed in their preschool classrooms. Naturalistic observations of total dramatic play, complex sociodramatic (CSD) play, and solitary dramatic play and of self-regulation in two classroom contexts—clean-up periods and group circle time—were gathered at Time 1, in the fall of the school year. To assess development of self-regulation, clean-up and circle time observations were repeated at Time 2, in late winter and early spring. CSD play predicted development of self-regulation during clean-up periods, whereas solitary dramatic play was negatively correlated with improvement in clean-up performance. The CSD play/improved self-regulation relationship was particularly strong for high-impulsive children, nil for low-impulsive children. Findings are consistent with Vygotsky’s theory and suggest that sociodramatic experiences may be especially advantageous for impulsive children, who are behind their peers in self-regulatory development.

Date:
January 2002
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
17
Page/s:
216-238
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Longitudinal
  • Peers play
  • Pretend play
  • Self-regulation
  • Solitary play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Krafft, K. et al. (1998) Private speech in two preschools: Significance of open-ended activities and make-believe play for verbal self-regulation (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Contextual influences on private speech were examined in two preschools differing in the learning environments they provide for children. Observations of 3- to 5-year-olds were made during free-choice periods in a Montessori and a traditional (play-oriented) program. Consistent with Vygotsky's theory that make-believe play serves as a vital context for the development of self-regulation, the incidence of private speech was much higher during open-ended activities, especially fantasy play, that require children to determine the goal of the task, than during closed-ended tasks with predetermined goals. In line with previous research, the more direct involvement, or external regulation, teachers displayed, the lower the rate of children's private speech. In addition, transitions (as opposed to involvement in activities) were linked to reduced private speech, whereas engagement with peers, in the form of associative play, predicted greater self-directed language. Diminished make-believe play, greater teacher direct involvement, and heightened time spent in transitions largely accounted for the lower incidence of private speech in the Montessori compared with the traditional preschool. Contextual factors also contributed to a drop in private speech at age 5. Implications for fostering children's verbal self-regulation during early childhood are considered.

Date:
January 1998
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
13
Page/s:
637-658
Synonyms:
  • Cross-sectional
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Peers play
  • Pretend play
  • Self-regulation
Relevant age group/s:

Meacham, S. et al. (2014) Preschool teachers’ questioning in sociodramatic play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This descriptive study used sequential analysis to examine preschool teachers’ use of questions as they participated in their children's sociodramatic play and the children's responsiveness to their teachers’ questions. Eleven teachers in a Head Start program were videotaped while the teachers interacted with their children in the classrooms’ dramatic play center. The analyses indicated that the majority of the teachers used more closed-ended than open-ended questions and that the children were more verbally responsive to open-ended questions than to closed-ended questions in two play modes, pretend- and non-pretend-play modes. In addition, the children responded more frequently to both kinds of questions, open-ended and closed-ended, than to their teachers’ non-question comments or prompts. The findings suggest a need for a future study investigating teachers’ questions in children's sociodramatic play in various play contexts.

Date:
October 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
29
Page/s:
562-573
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
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Trawick-Smith, J. et al. (2011) ‘Good-fit’ teacher–child play interactions and the subsequent autonomous play of preschool children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to test a model of adult–child play interactions in preschool classrooms, based on the work of Vygotsky and neo-Vygotskian scholars. The model predicts that adults will tailor the play support they provide to the immediate needs of individual children, and that this will lead to subsequent independent play. Classroom interactions between eight preschool teachers and 32 students were videotaped, transcribed, and analyzed over a six-month period. Interviews were conducted with the eight adult participants to confirm and elucidate findings from observed classroom behaviors. Distinct types of play support needed by children and given by teachers were identified. These were operationally defined; definitions were used to create a coding system that was found to have high inter-rater reliability. Sequential analyses were conducted to determine goodness-of-fit between teacher responses and children's needs. Behavioral outcomes of a good fit were also examined. Findings support the model tested here. Teachers often responded to children's play with behaviors matching the level of support needed. Good-fit interactions more frequently led to autonomous subsequent play than poor-fit interactions.

Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
26
Page/s:
110-123
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
Relevant age group/s:
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Vallotton, C. et al. (2011) Use your words: The role of language in the development of toddlers’ self-regulation (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Self-regulation emerges throughout early childhood, and predicts later success in socially and cognitively challenging situations. Vygotsky proposed that symbols, particularly words, serve as mental tools to be used in service of self-regulation. Cross-sectional research indicates a positive but inconsistent association between language and self-regulation skills throughout toddlerhood, but research has not accounted for general cognitive development, nor gender differences in these domains. We used growth modeling of longitudinal data for 120 toddlers collected when children were 14, 24, and 36 months to test the impact of two expressive language skills – spoken vocabulary and talkativeness – on the growth of toddlers’ self-regulation, and to determine whether associations between these domains exist when controlling for cognitive development. Results reveal gender differences in self-regulation trajectories, and in the impact of language on self-regulation. Vocabulary is a better predictor of self-regulation than talkativeness, and both concurrent and prior vocabulary positively predicted children's levels of self-regulation. When cognitive development was controlled, 24-month vocabulary still predicted the trajectory of self-regulation. Results reveal that, even in early development, words are tools that can be applied to the task of self-regulation, and may be a more necessary tool for boys than for girls at this age.

Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
26
Page/s:
169-181
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Longitudinal
  • Self-regulation
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: