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Baker, F. (2014) Tensions in Policy and Practice: Influences on Play in Abu Dhabi's New School Model KG Framework (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This article reports on three salient socio-cultural and systemic factors that are influential in play in Abu Dhabi Education Council's (ADEC's) kindergarten (KG) framework from the teacher perspective. Anecdotal evidence suggests that during ADEC's progressive educational reform, emphasis has reverted to academic performance outcomes rather than whole child learning through play. Tensions may then occur surrounding the nature and extent of play practices for early learning. Following semi-structured interviews with 60 KG teachers, three salient factors emerged. These are illustrated in this article and discussed in light of the international literature on play. Tensions in policy and practice highlighted in this article are: a focus on academic performance outcomes; children's readiness to engage in play and parent perspectives on play. The article then discusses what these tensions may mean for the future of play in ADEC KGs situated within a period of educational reform.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
184
Page/s:
1830-1842
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • Playful learning
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Qualitative methodology
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: