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PEDAL Hub Library

We’ve rounded up a set of high-quality play resources for you to explore. The library houses a collection of links that will take you to peer-reviewed publications, videos of play experts, and websites that may be of interest to you.

You can use the filters below to find the resources that best match your interests. The library can be sorted by format (journal papers, videos, blogs etc.), child age, and type of play.

Happy exploring!

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Play, cognition and self-regulation: What exactly are children learning when they learn through play?

This paper explores the particular aspects of learning which might be supported through playful activity and reviews research and theory which link children’s play, and particularly pretence or symbolic play, to the development of metacognitive and self-regulatory skills. Three studies are reported, one observational and two experimental, which have explored this relationship. The observational study […]

Title: Play, cognition and self-regulation: What exactly are children learning when they learn through play?
Abstract:

This paper explores the particular aspects of learning which might be supported through playful activity and reviews research and theory which link children’s play, and particularly pretence or symbolic play, to the development of metacognitive and self-regulatory skills. Three studies are reported, one observational and two experimental, which have explored this relationship. The observational study involved the video-recording of 582 metacognitive or self-regulatory ‘events’ within Foundation Stage settings. The two experimental studies replicated in different learning domains the classic study of Sylva, Bruner and Genova (1976), which contrasted the problem-solving performance of 3- to 5-year-old children who had experienced a ‘taught’ and ‘play’ condition. Evidence from the present studies reported and other studies supports the view that play, and particularly pretence or symbolic play, which might be with objects or other children, is particularly significant in its contribution to the development of children as metacognitively skilful, self-regulated learners. Evidence from the observational study indicated that child-initiated playful activities, in small groups without adult supervision, supported the greatest proportion of self-regulatory behaviours. The experimental studies suggested that the experience of the ‘play’ condition was particularly effective in preparing the children for effortful, problem-solving or creative tasks which require a high level of metacognitive and self-regulatory skill. Metacognitive and self-regulatory development is crucially important in the development of academic skills which involve intentional learning, problem-solving and creativity. An understanding of the relationship between pretend or symbolic play and self-regulation is also helpful in providing clear guidelines for adults working with young children as regards their role in supporting and encouraging play in educational contexts.

Publication year: 2009
Date: 28/07/2022
Volume: 26
Page/s: 40
Developing young children as self-regulated learners

The fourth edition widens the scope of previous topics, aiming to support beginning teachers working and playing with early years.

Developing independent learning in the early years

This paper describes a research project currently running in Cambridgeshire Foundation Stage settings exploring the development of independent learning in young children. In the first year the project has explored the work of 16 practitioners working with 3–5 year old children, using a range of methodologies including questionnaires, interviews and reflective dialogues (based on video […]

Title: Developing independent learning in the early years
Abstract:

This paper describes a research project currently running in Cambridgeshire Foundation Stage settings exploring the development of independent learning in young children. In the first year the project has explored the work of 16 practitioners working with 3–5 year old children, using a range of methodologies including questionnaires, interviews and reflective dialogues (based on video recordings of particular classroom episodes), reflective journals and child assessment checklists. The development of the range of abilities involved in becoming a self-regulating, independent learner has been conceptualised in terms of research and theory relating to the development of ‘metacognitive’ abilities and dispositions. It is argued that, while the development of independent learning is generally accepted as an important educational aim, current trends in Primary education which have encouraged a more teacher-directed approach, are not helpful. The paper advances a model of independent learning which is based on developmental psychological research, and presents interim findings from the project which suggest that even our youngest children are capable of considerable independence in their learning. While particular pedagogical techniques and approaches need to be developed, many of these are well-established and researched, and can be shown to be effective in fostering independent learning abilities within the Primary school context.

Publication year: 2005
Date: 28/07/2022
Volume: 33
Page/s: 40-50

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