Uncovering past experiences that influence the pedagogical practices of early childhood teachers: an interpretive inquiry into play

Doctorate other than PhD


Wong-Powell, Jennifer. 2017. Uncovering past experiences that influence the pedagogical practices of early childhood teachers: an interpretive inquiry into play. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5bfe0d98eb037
Title

Uncovering past experiences that influence the pedagogical practices of early childhood teachers: an interpretive inquiry into play

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
Authors
AuthorWong-Powell, Jennifer
SupervisorGreen, Nicole
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages211
Year2017
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5bfe0d98eb037
Abstract

While early childhood teachers and play scholars endorse the benefits of play to the learning and development of young children, the provision of play in early childhood education continues to be challenged. However, an investigation into the challenge does not surround finding who might not support the use and implementation of play or the solutions to the obstacles for play opportunities in early childhood education. Rather, an inquiry is necessary in order to answer the whys and hows of human opinion, behaviour and experience. The question is: Who are we and where do we come from as early childhood teachers?

Through interpretive inquiry into play, the intention of this study was to provide researchers and early childhood teachers with a possible example of how to engage in reflections, inquiring into the rich and diverse interplay of factors that impact the approaches to play as well as play practices in early childhood education. Visualised through spiral loops, each phase of the data collection and interpretation were informed by the proceeding stage as new questions emerged, new connections were made and developments in deepening understandings impacted the direction of research. The methodology incorporated interpretive and participative inquiry, with the researcher as a participant insider using an autoethnographic technique.

The inquiry into play reveals the previous experiences with play and its influences on the use of play as well as its impact on the current orientations and developed theories on play. Situated in an international school in Sri Lanka, the participants include three female veteran early childhood teachers who are Sri Lankan in nationality. The research emphasises play as a culturally embedded and institutionally defined concept, repositioning play from a previously Western point of view to a social construct. The inquiry into play further provokes thinking and conversations about play, illustrating its complexity and robustness.

Keywordsearly childhood; early childhood education; play;
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390302. Early childhood education
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
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