Children’s Learning Through Play: Perspectives and Practices of Public School Early Childhood Educators
Keywords:learning though play, perspective, practices, play experiences, early childhood educators
Play serves as the source of learning and knowledge to children in an early age.
Piaget’s cognitive theory supports that different exploration capacities develop and
progress as children mature through their play experiences. However, different
perspectives arise from this theory due to the greater demand for academics than
play. Thus, this phenomenological study explored the perspectives and practices of
public early childhood educators on play. Five public school early childhood
educators with 2-10 years of kindergarten teaching experiences were the
participants. Findings showed that public school educators describe play as a means
of learning, enjoyment, exploration, and motivation. The participants demonstrated
full knowledge of the benefits of play to the development of the physical, mental
and emotional aspects which are necessary for learning. However, it was found out
that participants were challenged to practice and utilize play as a means of teaching
and learning due to the limited provision of learning materials, classroom spaces
and the large number of pupils including parent’s expectations. This study showed
that educators’ role is to practice knowledge and play an active role in utilizing and
advocating play as an effective strategy in teaching and learning.
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Copyright © 2019 ISC Committee.