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Conceptualising play-based learning from kindergarten teachers' perspectives

This study sought to gain insight into how Ontario teachers define play-based learning, and how their perspectives affect its implementation in kindergarten classrooms. Using survey data from kindergarten teachers from around the province of Ontario, two definitions of play were developed: one focused on social development through play and the other on academic and social development in play. Results revealed inconsistencies in participants' definitions and implementations of play-based learning in kindergarten classrooms. Several participants described the enactment of play that was entirely separate from learning, yet still indicated some belief in the ability to learn through play. While all participants described positive perspectives of play-based learning, more than half described the implementation of kindergarten programmes that did not fully integrate play-based learning as it is described in the Ontario curriculum. Participants were also asked to identify challenges they experienced in their implementation of play-based pedagogy. Participants in all enactment groups indicated experiencing challenges to their play implementation. These results support the need for a clear and consistent definition of play-based learning that will help determine how best to integrate play and the learning of academic skills. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers

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