‘They get fed up with playing.’ Parents’ views on play-based learning in the Preparatory Year

O'Gorman, Lyndal May & Ailwood, Jo (2012) ‘They get fed up with playing.’ Parents’ views on play-based learning in the Preparatory Year. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 13(4), pp. 266-275.

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Within early childhood education two ideas are firmly held: play is the best way for children to learn and parents are partners in the child’s learning. While these ideas have been explored, limited research to date has investigated the confluence of the two - how parents of young children view the concept of play. This paper investigates parents’ views on play by analysing the views of small group of parents of Prep Year children in Queensland, Australia.

The parents in this study held varying definitions of what constitutes play, and complex and contradictory notions of its value. Positive views of play were linked to learning without knowing it, engaging in hands-on activities, and preparation for Year One through a strong focus on academic progress. Some parents held that Prep was play-based, while others did not.

The complexities and diversity of parental opinion in this study echo the ongoing commentary about how play ought to be defined. Moreover, the notion that adults may interpret play in different ways is also reflected here. The authors suggest that for early childhood educators these complexities require an ongoing engagement, debate and reconceptualisation of the place of play in light of broader curricular and socio-political agendas.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 50864
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Preparatory Year, Queensland, Early childhood education, Play, Parents
DOI: 10.2304/ciec.2012.13.4.266
ISSN: 1463-9491
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Symposium Journals
Deposited On: 13 Jun 2012 21:59
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:46

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