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PEDAL Hub: Resource Library

Whitebread, D. et al. (2017) PLaNS Handbook (Document)

Abstract:

This is a free teacher's handbook based on the work of Dr David Whitebread, Dr Marisol Basilio, and their team. You can view the handbook via the link provided below. To find out more about the PLaNS project, click here: https://goo.gl/Wk9aef

Linked with PEDAL, the overall aim of the PLaNS project was to investigate the influence that a playful learning approach could have on 5-10 year olds’ narrative and writing skills.

Being able to construct a clear narrative, in fictional form as a story, or in a non-fictional form as a descriptive account or a set of instructions, is a crucial skill, within educational contexts and beyond. There is a major concern that many children do not master these skills as well as they might, having implications for their oral and written narrative skills, and on aspects of their text comprehension (for example, the ability to identify the main points in a story or a factual text).

Using LEGO sets, primary school teachers had free rein to develop playful activities to inspire children’s narratives and writing during a full academic year. Children worked together in groups to create stories and develop their writing in several ways - through comic strips, movies, 3D storyboards and more besides.

The PLaNS research team evaluated children at the beginning and end of the school year to measure the impact of this teaching approach on a range of skills: writing, oral narrative skills, vocabulary, self-regulation and creativity. Children and teachers were also observed in the classroom throughout the academic year, and interviewed by the research team in order to understand learning experiences from the participant's perspective.

Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Guided-play
  • Literacy
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

Wu, S. (2015) What Can Chinese and German Children Tell Us about Their Learning and Play in Kindergarten? (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study investigated Hong Kong and German children's perceptions of play and learning and their relationships. Forty-eight children (24 German and 24 Chinese) playing and learning in the classroom were observed and videotaped for five consecutive days. They were interviewed 3 times about their kindergarten experiences by using free- and cue-recall questions. It is found that the Hong Kong children remembered more academic learning activities, whereas the German children remembered more play events. Most of the Hong Kong children recalled academic learning content, whereas the German children associated learning with play. The findings showed that children's understandings of the relationship between play and learning varied with their classroom contexts. These results suggest that children's perspectives on play and learning should be taken into account by advocating a play-based pedagogy approach or integrating more learning elements into a play-oriented curriculum. The implications for policy and pedagogy are discussed.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Volume:
29
Page/s:
338-351
Synonyms:
  • Free play
  • Learning
  • Pedagogy
  • Playful learning
  • Qualitative methodology
Relevant age group/s:

Yu, S. et al. (2015) The Relationship between Preschoolers' Attitudes and Play Behaviors toward Classmates with Disabilities (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study was conducted to examine the relationship between 32 typically developing preschoolers' attitudes and play behaviors toward their classmates with disabilities or developmental delays. Children's attitudes toward peers with disabilities were assessed using three methods: child interviews, sociometric peer ratings, and a social acceptance scale. Children's play behaviors (e.g., solitary, onlooker, parallel play, associative/cooperative play) and teachers' involvement in children's play were observed during free play over a 10-week period. Results revealed that children's identification of a classmate with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as having a disability was negatively related to their associative/cooperative play with the classmate. Typically developing children's sociometric ratings of classmates with disabilities were positively related to their associative/cooperative play with classmates with disabilities. In addition, children's sociometric ratings were a stronger indicator of whether a typically developing child would play with a classmate with a disability than was identification of a classmate as having a disability. Suggestions for future research and implications for practice are discussed.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
35
Page/s:
40-51
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Collaborative skills
  • Correlational
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Peers play
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Zero, . (2016) Towards a Pedagogy of Play: A Project Zero Working Paper (Manuscript)

Abstract:

Making room for playful learning in school can be difficult. Formidable tensions exist between playful learning and the way pedagogy is currently structured in most schools. Educators often differ in how they value playful learning practices and their understandings of the nature of play. For, what is playful to one learner may not be experienced as playful by another. To those who view play as a central pathway for learning, resources such as time, space, and materials can seem in short supply. To those who see play as silly and off-task, encouraging playful learning can run counter to educational policies that emphasize efficient coverage of the curriculum.

We believe that a pedagogy of play—a systematic approach to the practice of playful learning and teaching—is needed to bridge these tensions. Creating and operationalizing such a pedagogy requires a school culture where playfulness is celebrated, examined, made visible, and better understood as a powerful pathway of learning. Indeed, bringing play into a central role in a school entails creating a culture that values the core tenets of play: taking risks, making mistakes, exploring new ideas, and experiencing joy.

The purpose of this paper is to share ideas that are emerging from a recent research initiative called a Pedagogy of Play that explores how playful learning can assume a central role in school.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Pedagogy
  • Playful learning
  • Playfulness
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:
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