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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:

Howard, J. et al. (2013) The impact of children's perception of an activity as play rather than not play on emotional well-being (Journal Article)

Abstract:

BackgroundAs an important aspect of health and development, a number of policy and practice initiatives across education, health and social care are aimed at increasing children's emotional well-being. Links have been made between young children's emotional well-being and play although empirical evidence is limited. This paper demonstrates that when children perceive an activity as play, they show more signs of emotional well-being than when they perceive the same activity as not play.MethodsOne hundred and twenty-nine children aged between 3 and 5 years participated in the study. The cues children use to differentiate play and not play were used to create an activity session that was ‘like play’ and an activity session that was ‘not like play’. The activity itself remained constant. Children were allocated to either of the activity session types alternately and emotional well-being was measured using the Leuvens Involvement Scale.ResultsThere was a significant difference in the level of emotional well-being displayed by children in the two activity session types. Children who undertook the ‘like play’ activity scored significantly higher than children who undertook the same activity but ‘not like play’. Detailed observational analysis also showed increased behavioural indicators relating to emotional well-being among children participating in the ‘like play’ rather than ‘not like play’ activity session.ConclusionChildren demonstrate increased emotional well-being when they perceive an activity as play rather than not play. Findings support the proposition that play can be seen as an observable behaviour but also as a mental state. As well as providing important evidence as to the value of play for enhancing children's emotional well-being, findings are discussed in relation to professional practice in children's services. The paper highlights the training needs of practitioners to enable them to understand children's views about play and use this information to create playful situations which maximize the developmental potential of play.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
39
Page/s:
737-742
Synonyms:
  • Mental health
  • Playfulness
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Johnstone, A. et al. (2017) Pragmatic evaluation of the Go2Play Active Play intervention on physical activity and fundamental movement skills in children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Active play is a novel approach to addressing low physical activity levels and fundamental movement skills (FMS) in children. This study aimed to determine if a new school-based, ‘Go2Play Active Play’ intervention improved school day physical activity and FMS. This was a pragmatic evaluation conducted in Scotland during 2015–16. Participants (n = 172; mean age = 7 years) were recruited from seven primary schools taking part in the 5-month intervention, plus 24 participants not receiving the intervention were recruited to act as a comparison group.189 participants had physical activity measured using an Actigraph GT3X accelerometer at baseline and again at follow-up 5 months later. A sub-sample of participants from the intervention (n = 102) and comparison (n = 21) groups had their FMS assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) at baseline and follow-up. Changes in school day physical activity and FMS variables were examined using repeated measures ANOVA. The main effect was ‘group’ on ‘time’ from baseline to follow-up. Results indicated there was a significant interaction for mean counts per minute and percent time in sedentary behavior, light intensity physical activity and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (all p < 0.01) for school day physical activity. There was a significant interaction for gross motor quotient (GMQ) score (p = 0.02) and percentile (p = 0.04), locomotor skills score and percentile (both p = 0.02), but no significant interaction for object control skills score (p = 0.1) and percentile (p = 0.3). The Go2Play Active Play intervention may be a promising way of improving physical activity and FMS but this needs to be confirmed in an RCT.,


Active play is a promising way of increasing children's physical activity levels.


Active play is a promising way of improving children's fundamental movement skills.


Active play generates high levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity.


Active play emphasises fun, which is key to engaging children in physical activity.

Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
7
Page/s:
58-63
Synonyms:
  • Games with rules
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Lillard, A. et al. (2006) The early years: Evaluating Montessori education (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Please click on the link provided below to read the abstract.

Date:
January 2006
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
313
Page/s:
1893–1894
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Social-emotional
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:

McGuinness, C. et al. (2014) Impact of a play-based curriculum in the first two years of primary school: literacy and numeracy outcomes over seven years (Journal Article)

Abstract:

In 2000–2002 an innovative early years curriculum, the Enriched Curriculum (EC), was introduced into 120 volunteer schools across Northern Ireland, replacing a traditional curriculum similar to others across the UK at that time. It was intended by the designers to be developmentally appropriate and play-based with the primary goal of preventing the experience of persistent early failure in children. The EC was not intended to be a literacy and numeracy intervention, yet it did considerably alter pedagogy in these domains, particularly the age at which formal reading and mathematics instruction began. As part of a multi-method evaluation running from 2000–2008, the research team followed the primary school careers of the first two successive cohorts of EC children, comparing them with year-ahead controls attending the same 24 schools. Compared to the year-ahead control group, the findings show that the EC children's reading and mathematics scores fell behind in the first two years but the majority of EC children caught up by the end of their fourth year. Thereafter, the performance of the first EC cohort fell away slightly, while that of the second continued to match that of controls. Overall, the play-based curriculum had no statistically significant positive effects on reading and mathematics in the medium term. At best, the EC children's scores matched those of controls.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
40
Page/s:
772-795
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Numeracy
  • Playful learning
Relevant age group/s:

Neuman, S. et al. (1992) Literacy objects as cultural tools: Effects on children's literacy behaviors in play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study examined the effects of literacy-enriched play settings on preschoolers' literacy behaviors in spontaneous free play. 91 children, ages 3-5, from two urban day-care centers participated in the study. Prior to and following the intervention, the frequency of each child's handling, reading, and writing behaviors in play was assessed through direct observation. Videotaped samples of play areas examined the nature of children's play themes and their uses of literacy objects in play. Following baseline observations, the physical environment of one of the day-care centers was enriched with literacy objects in three distinct play centers: kitchen, office, and library. Significant differences were recorded for the intervention group in the frequency, duration, and complexity of literacy demonstrations in play. Further, children in the intervention group incorporated literacy objects in more diverse and functional ways in their play, using more explicit language than the nonintervention group.

Date:
January 1992
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
203-225
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Free play
  • Literacy
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:

Raver, C. et al. (2011) CSRP's Impact on Low-Income Preschoolers' Preacademic Skills: Self-Regulation as a Mediating Mechanism (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Based on theoretically driven models, the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) targeted low-income children's school readiness through the mediating mechanism of self-regulation. The CSRP is a multicomponent, cluster-randomized efficacy trial implemented in 35 Head Start-funded classrooms (N = 602 children). The analyses confirm that the CSRP improved low-income children's self-regulation skills (as indexed by attention/impulse control and executive function) from fall to spring of the Head Start year. Analyses also suggest significant benefits of CSRP for children's preacademic skills, as measured by vocabulary, letter-naming, and math skills. Partial support was found for improvement in children's self-regulation as a hypothesized mediator for children's gains in academic readiness. Implications for programs and policies that support young children's behavioral health and academic success are discussed.

Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
82
Page/s:
362-378
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Self-regulation
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: