Play and Pedagogy – Developing
Integrated Approaches
Dr Elizabeth Wood
Professor of Education
University of Sheffield
[email protected]
Many ideas about early childhood
education travel around the world.
These ideas are often applied in
different nations and cultural
contexts.
Play and active
learning are valued
Children should have
free choice activities
Practitioners provide
opportunities for free
and structured play
Educational and developmental theories of play:Play is valuable not just for itself, but for its impact on adaptation,
learning and development.
Play is one of MANY ways in which children learn.
Play integrates all aspects of development: social, physical,
intellectual, emotional, spiritual.
Play leads to positive social outcomes: socialisation, peer friendships,
maturity, and empathy.
Play is productive activity, and can be justified within educational
settings.
Play can lead to defined educational outcomes (through play-based
learning, and play-based curriculum).
What are some of the benefits of play?
Positive dispositions... confidence, competence,
perseverance, playfulness, problem-solving
capabilities, flexibility, resilience, meta-cognition
(knowing how to learn, self-regulation, selfawareness).
Well-being…sense of identity &
belonging, mastery and
control, positive relationships.
Implications for pedagogy
Children need to be around playful and
knowledgeable adults who can support their
learning and development in many different ways.
Practitioners need to understand children’s play,
and use their knowledge to inform their pedagogy
and curriculum planning.
BUT – what are the challenges?
Integrated Pedagogical Approaches
Plan
indoor and
outdoor
spaces
Assess
learning
and
progress,
review
planning.
Childinitiated
and adultled play
Team discussions
of children’s play
choices and
learning
Observe
and
interact
with
children,
respond to
interests
Broadhead, P. and Burt, A. (2012) Understanding Young Children’s Learning
Through Play: Building Playful Pedagogies. Abingdon: Routledge.
Broadhead, P., Howard, J. and Wood, E. (2010) (eds) Play and Learning in the
Early Years: From Research to Practice, London: Sage.
Brooker, L. and Edwards, S. (eds), Engaging Play. Maidenhead: Open University
Press.
Saracho, O. (2012) An Integrated Play-based Curriculum for Young Children. New
York: Routledge.
Wood, E. (2013) Play, Learning and the Early Childhood Curriculum, 3rd edition.
London, Sage.
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Elizabeth Wood - Edge Hill University