Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education
Dr. Ali Taylor
Dr. Grant Smith
Dr. Tim Kinard
There is a growing body of research behind the play-based movement in education today – a topic that is somewhat controversial (Nicolopoulou et al., 2010; Overstreet, 2018). While some are steeped in a more classical approach to early education, advocating learning should be painful (Adler & Van Doren, 1988), others are paving the way for a more progressive approach, suggesting play to be the premier window into a child’s development (Paley, 1979-2014; Wohlwend & Peppler, 2015). The purpose of this study was to look at how the perceptions of pre- and in-service teachers changed regarding play and storytelling after participating in a play and inquiry practicum. The study examined the experiences of 27 teachers, each with a story as unique as the person they grew to become. In an effort to understand, holistically, how the teachers were growing and changing, a triangulation of methods were employed - including the documentation of daily interactions, quantitative analyses, and in-depth interviews. The teachers, overall, reported a philosophical awakening, following the week of readings (Pre-Survey Composite = 1,565). For most, a slight reservation about the practical aspects of play, following the intensive week of teacher preparation work (Post 1 Composite = 1,487). And finally, a better understanding of play, theoretically and practically, following the three week play and inquiry workshop with the community children (Post 2 Composite = 1,513).
Nygard, E. B., "A Pedagogy of Play: How Pre- and In-Service Early Childhood Teachers’ Perceptions of Play are Influenced as a Result of Practicum Experience in a Play-Based Environment" (2022). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Capstones. 137.
Available for download on Friday, September 29, 2023
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