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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:

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:

Bergen, D. (2009) Play and Brain Development as Complementary Non Lonear Dynamic (Chaotic / Complex) Systems (Conference Paper)

Bonawitz, E. et al. (2011) The double-edged sword of pedagogy: Instruction limits spontaneous exploration and discovery (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Motivated by computational analyses, we look at how teaching affects exploration and discovery. In Experiment 1, we investigated children’s exploratory play after an adult pedagogically demonstrated a function of a toy, after an interrupted pedagogical demonstration, after a naïve adult demonstrated the function, and at baseline. Preschoolers in the pedagogical condition focused almost exclusively on the target function; by contrast, children in the other conditions explored broadly. In Experiment 2, we show that children restrict their exploration both after direct instruction to themselves and after overhearing direct instruction given to another child; they do not show this constraint after observing direct instruction given to an adult or after observing a non-pedagogical intentional action. We discuss these findings as the result of rational inductive biases. In pedagogical contexts, a teacher’s failure to provide evidence for additional functions provides evidence for their absence; such contexts generalize from child to child (because children are likely to have comparable states of knowledge) but not from adult to child. Thus, pedagogy promotes efficient learning but at a cost: children are less likely to perform potentially irrelevant actions but also less likely to discover novel information.

Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
120
Page/s:
322-330
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Free play
  • Guided-play
  • Learning
  • Pedagogy
  • Playful learning
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Brockman, R. et al. (2010) The contribution of active play to the physical activity of primary school children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Objective
To examine associations between active play and the physical activity of 10- to 11-year-old children.
Method
Cross-sectional study of 747, 10- tot11-year-olds, conducted between February 2008 and March 2009 in Bristol, UK. Mean minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and mean activity levels (counts per minute, CPM) were assessed by accelerometer. Frequency of active play was self-reported.
Results
Regression models indicated that frequent active play (5 or more days per week) was associated with mean daily activity levels (CPM) (girls: p = < 0.01; boys: p = <0.01), but was only associated with mean daily MVPA for girls (p = < 0.01). For leisure-time physical activity, active play was associated with children's CPM (girls: p = 0.02; boys: p = < 0.01) and MVPA (girls: p = < 0.01; boys: p = 0.03) on weekdays after school, but was only associated with weekend day CPM for boys (p =<0.01).
Conclusion
Active play is associated with children's physical activity with after-school potentially being a critical period. Strategies to promote active play may prove to be a successful means of increasing children's physical activity.

Date:
January 2010
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
51
Page/s:
144-147
Synonyms:
  • Free play
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

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:

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:

EEF, . (2017) Education Endowment Foundation (Web Page)

Abstract:

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is an independent charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement. We aim to: raise the attainment of 3-18 year-olds, particularly those facing disadvantage; develop their essential life skills;
and prepare young people for the world of work and further study.
We support teachers and senior leaders by providing free, independent and evidence-based resources designed to improve practice and boost learning.
We do this by generating evidence of what works to improve teaching and learning, funding rigorous trials of promising but untested programmes and approaches.
We then support schools, as well as early years and post-16 settings, across the country in using evidence to achieve the maximum possible benefit for young people.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • At-risk
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

England, . (2017) Play England (Web Page)

Title Play England
Abstract:

Play England’s vision is for England to be a country where everybody can fully enjoy their right to play throughout their childhood and teenage years, as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 31 and the Charter for Children’s Play.

To achieve this vision, we aim to ensure that:

-All children and young people have the freedom — time, space, permission and opportunity — to play throughout their childhood and teenage years;
-All residential neighbourhoods are child-friendly places where children and young people can regularly play outside; and
-Everyone is aware of the importance of play — outdoors and indoors — as part of children and young people’s daily lives.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Children's rights
  • Non-profit
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

EPA, . (2017) European Parents` Association (Web Page)

Abstract:

EPA gathers the parents associations in Europe which together represent more than 150 million parents. EPA works in partnership both to represent and give to parents a powerful voice in the development of education policies and decisions at European level. In the field of education, EPA aims to promote the active participation of parents and … Continue reading →

Author/s:
Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Empowering populations
  • Non-profit
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: