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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

Baker, C. (2014) African American Fathers' Contributions to Children's Early Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two-Parent Families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Research Findings: This study utilized a large sample ("N" = 750) of 2-parent families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to examine the contributions of African American fathers' home literacy involvement, play activities, and caregiving at 24 months to children's reading and math achievement in preschool. After family characteristics and child characteristics were controlled for, both mother and father characteristics predicted child achievement. Mother age predicted math achievement but not reading. Furthermore, even after mother predictors were entered into the hierarchical regressions, fathers' education and home literacy involvement also significantly predicted achievement. African American fathers who engaged in more frequent shared book reading, telling stories, singing songs, and provided more children's books in their homes at 24 months had children with better reading and math scores in preschool. Practice or Policy: These findings support growing evidence that fathers contribute to child development. Implications for research on early academic achievement in ethnically diverse samples are discussed.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
25
Page/s:
19-35
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Numeracy
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Physical play
  • Play with Father
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:

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:

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:

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:

Berkhout, L. et al. (2012) Observation Instrument of Play Behaviour in a Classroom Setting (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The objective of this study was to develop an instrument to observe the play behaviour of a whole group of children from four to six years of age in a classroom setting on the basis of video recording. The instrument was developed in collaboration with experienced teachers and experts on play. Categories of play were derived from the literature and daily practice in Dutch classrooms (i.e. sensory, motor, construction, make-believe play and arts-and-games). Analysis of the video with the help of the observation instrument showed that the between-observer reliability was almost perfect. The simple and clearly structured instrument may be used by teachers or in teachers' education.

Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
182
Page/s:
1325-1333
Synonyms:
  • Object play
  • Physical play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:

Bodrova, E. et al. (2007) Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education (Book)

Abstract:

As the only text of its kind, this book provides in-depth information about Vygotsky's theories, neo-Vygotskians' findings, and concrete explanations and strategies that instruct teachers how to influence student learning and development.  Key changes to this edition include a new chapter on dynamic assessment, separate and expanded chapters on developmental accomplishments of infants and toddlers, preschool/kindergarten, and primary grades and on supporting those accomplishments, and elaborations of Vygotsky's ideas from neo-Vygotskians from Russia.   FEATURES:   Written for the beginning student, the book provides a clear discussion of Vygotskian principles including...a historical overview and a complete chapter on the "Zone of Proximal Development," (ZPD). Each section of the book builds on the other...framework, strategies, and applications of the Vygotskian approach. The work of Vygotsky is compared in a fair and balanced way with the work of Piaget. Examples and activities have been class-tested in a variety of classroom environments including a Head Start program, private preschool, and in the Denver Public Schools.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2007
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Self-regulation
  • Executive function
Tags:

Brooker, L. et al. (2014) SAGE Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood (Book)

Abstract:

'This Handbook offers diverse perspectives from scholars across the globe who help us see play in new ways. At the same time the basic nature of play gives a context for us to learn new theoretical frameworks and methods. A real gem!'
- Beth Graue, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, USA

Play and learning scholarship has developed considerably over the last decade, as has the recognition of its importance to children’s learning and development.

Containing chapters from highly respected researchers, whose work has been critical to building knowledge and expertise in the field, this Handbook focuses on examining historical, current and future research issues in play and learning scholarship.

Organized into three sections which consider:

theoretical and philosophical perspectives on play and learning
play in pedagogy, curriculum and assessment
play contexts.

The Handbook's breadth, clarity and rigor will make it essential reading for researchers and postgraduate students, as well as professionals with interest in this dynamic and changing field.

Liz Brooker is Reader in Early Childhood in the Faculty of Children and Learning at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Mindy Blaise is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Susan Edwards is Associate Professor in Curriculum and Pedagogy at Australian Catholic University.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Cultural context
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Digital play
  • Learning
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical play
  • Play assessment
  • Playful learning
  • Playfulness
  • Playground
  • Pretend play

Bulotsky-Shearer, R. et al. (2012) Peer Play Interactions and Readiness to Learn: A Protective Influence for African American Preschool Children From Low-Income Households (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Guided by a strengths-based resiliency framework, this article reviews a body of research on the positive influence of interactive peer play for African American preschool children from low-income households. This literature provides evidence for positive associations among interactive peer play experiences at home and in school, and childrens early childhood social and academic skills. It presents the development and validation of three distinct dimensions of interactive peer play with African American children attending Head Start. It reviews research examining associations between these 3 dimensions and childrens academic and social outcomes, as well as evidence-based interventions designed to foster interactive peer play for this population. It highlights challenges and directions for future research, with emphasis on the likely research needed to extend our understanding of interactive peer play experiences for Latino and Asian American children and the complex mechanisms through which positive peer interactions during early childhood may support childrens early learning and development.

Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
6
Page/s:
225-231
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Cultural context
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Literature review
  • Peers play
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
  • Socio-economic background
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: