Within early years education, play is viewed as essential for learning and this is enshrined in current foundation stage curriculum documentation. This is despite the fact that empirical evidence supporting the claims that play aids learning is limited. Studies aimed at linking play and learning using problem solving activities have suffered from methodological weaknesses, namely isolating play as the causal determinant of improved performance. Most research has concentrated on an adult definition of play which neglects the intrinsic nature of playfulness itself. In order to capture and measure the impact of playfulness, rather than play, researchers need to consider the views of the players themselves. The few studies that have attempted to elicit the views of the players have shown that children distinguish between play and non-play activities according to a number of criteria: teacher direction, voluntary nature of the activity, adult presence and where an activity takes place. Recent studies have attempted to manipulate these cues to create playful and formal practice conditions and have shown that children in playful practice conditions show greater gains in learning than those in formal practice conditions across a range of activities. This presentation extends these previous findings by not only identifying improved performance following playful practice but also difference in behaviour between children in the two practice conditions.
|Title of host publication||N/A|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 1 Jan 1990|
|Event|| BPS Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference – Evidence-Based Education - Milton Keynes|
Duration: 1 Nov 2008 → 1 Nov 2008
|Conference||BPS Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference – Evidence-Based Education|
|Period||1/11/08 → 1/11/08|