Playful learning in the early years – through the eyes of children

McInnes, K (2019) 'Playful learning in the early years – through the eyes of children.' Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 47 (7). pp. 796-805. ISSN 0300-4279

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UK policy and curriculum frameworks for early years appear to value play for learning; however, its implementation is fraught with misunderstandings and difficulty. It has been suggested that one of the difficulties is due to the language and terminology regarding play used in official documentation and how this contrasts with the beliefs and play experiences of practitioners. It has been argued that traditional views of play, based on adult perceptions of the observable act of play (Howard, J. 2002. “Eliciting Young Children's Perceptions of Play, Work and Learning Using the Activity Apperception Story Procedure.” Early Child Development and Care 172: 489–502), contrast to children’s perceptions of play, although this has not been robustly assessed. In this study a photo elicitation procedure was used with 80 children and 14 early years practitioners to identify similarities and differences in how they view play. A crucial difference between the two groups was their use of the cue of adult presence, as children but not practitioners, used this to differentiate between activities viewed as play and not play. The implications of this finding are discussed, particularly the need to focus on the role of the adult in play.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: play, playfulness, play cues, children’s views, curriculum, policy
Divisions: School of Education
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Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2023 16:46
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2023 16:46
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