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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

Avornyo, E. et al. (2018) The role of play in children’s learning: the perspective of Ghanaian early years stakeholders (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to examine Ghanaian stakeholders’ beliefs about the role and importance of play in early years (3 to 5 years) children’s learning, referred to as play-learning beliefs. A survey design was adopted in order to gather data necessary to examine the differences among stakeholders’ play-learning beliefs. A total of 292 participants completed the survey. Data were collected using a self-developed scale. A preliminary comparison of the mean differences among the stakeholders using ANOVA indicated that the head teachers and teachers perceived play as a form of learning more favourably than the parents. This difference was further explored using cluster analysis to test the hypothesis that stakeholders’ education status is a factor in explaining the group mean differences. Using a two-step cluster analysis in SPSS 24.0, participants were grouped into five distinct clusters, which were most distinguishable by participant status (parent, teacher or head teacher) and their education status – high-educated head teachers, teachers and parents, moderate-educated teachers and low-educated parents. Consistent differences emerged between cluster groups when compared on the scale score. Consistent with the hypothesis, the results suggest education status is associated with stakeholders’ beliefs about the role of play in children’s learning.

Date:
January 2018
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
0
Page/s:
1-16
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
  • Learning
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

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:

Becker, B. (2014) How Often Do You Play with Your Child? The Influence of Parents' Cultural Capital on the Frequency of Familial Activities from Age Three to Six (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Many studies have demonstrated a positive association between familial activities (e.g. reading to the child) and children's development in different domains. It is also well-known that social and ethnic differences exist regarding the frequencies of such activities. However, the mechanism behind these differences is less clear. This article analyses the role of parents' cultural capital as a mediating factor between families' social and ethnic background and the frequency of stimulating familial activities in early childhood. Using the data from the German longitudinal study "Preschool Education and Educational Careers among Migrant Children", it is shown that parents' cultural capital completely mediates the effect of mother's education and part of the ethnic origin effect. Additional longitudinal analyses reveal that the influence of parents' cultural capital changes over time and is most pronounced at the earliest measurement.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Volume:
22
Page/s:
4-13
Synonyms:
  • Games with rules
  • Longitudinal
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Play with Mother
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

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:

Bleeker, M. et al. (4/17) Findings from a Randomized Experiment of Playworks: Selected Results from Cohort 1 (Book)

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:

Conner, J. et al. (2014) A Play and Language Intervention for Two-Year-Old Children: Implications for Improving Play Skills and Language (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to develop an intervention for 2-year-old children to enhance play and language skills. The intervention was implemented over a 4-week period and included components of reading, modeling, and positive reinforcement of language and play. Specifically, children were read a story and played with a matching toy set. Participants included 10 children, all age 2, who attended a child care center. Five participants received the play intervention, and five were used as comparison. All children were assessed using the Play in Early Childhood Evaluation System (PIECES), the Preschool Language Scale (PLS), and a Vocabulary Assessment. The results of this study showed that children who received the intervention increased pretend play more than the comparison group and also increased comprehension and expressive communication skills more than the comparison group. Implications for early childhood educators and parents are discussed.

Date:
January 2014
Volume:
28
Page/s:
221-237
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Language
  • Peers play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend 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: