Parent views of play in the Preparatory Year in Queensland

Breathnach, Helen (2013) Parent views of play in the Preparatory Year in Queensland. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Over the past ten years, Queensland has experienced a period of significant education reform including the introduction in 2007 of a Preparatory Year of schooling for children aged five years. Recently, the development of a new Australian Curriculum represents a further curriculum reform impacting on Prep in Queensland, as Prep is, for the first time, part of the broader school curriculum and specific content is to be taught. The place of play as a context for learning is a current topic of interest during this period of change, and this thesis argues that consideration of parent views with regard to play and its place in Prep is timely and strategic.

This thesis reports the findings of a research project that used case study to elicit and describe the ways in which eight parents viewed play in Prep. Analysis of parent interviews identified four themes: (1) parents interpreting play in Prep, (2) play and learning in Prep, (3) the Prep teacher's role in play and (4) parent tensions regarding play and learning in Prep.

The results of the study suggest that variation exists in the ways in which parents may view and interpret play in Prep in Queensland. Analysis of the data further suggests that these interpretations may reflect parents' understanding of the Prep program and their attitudes to play and school generally. This thesis suggests that parents may spend limited time in Prep classrooms, which may impact on their understanding of play as a theoretical tenet in Prep and may highlight limitations in parent-teacher partnerships.

The results of this study suggest that more attention be given to engaging parents in early childhood programs and eliciting their views on these programs. The results also suggest the importance of early childhood teachers advocating on behalf of play with their teaching colleagues, school leaders and policy makers.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 60127
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: O'Gorman, Lyndal May & Petriwskyj, Anne
Keywords: early childhood education and care (ECEC), preparatory year, prep, early years, play, parents, views, Queensland, Australia, social constructivism, case study
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 20 May 2013 05:39
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:47

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