Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Curriculum targets affect children’s playtime

08.09.2005


Young children may be missing out on ‘pretend’ games like pirates and spacemen due to the demands of the school curriculum, according to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).



The project, led by Dr Sue Rogers at the University of Plymouth, found that reception classes were not always designed to meet the needs of 4-5 year olds. ‘Children of this age learn to make friends as well as to use their imagination through role play,’ says Dr Rogers. ‘We know that they are capable of sustained and complex imaginative play and that capturing and engaging their interest is essential. Unfortunately, pressures on time and space, as well as the need to teach literacy, means that playing at shops, pirates and hospitals is difficult to fit into the timetable.’

The researchers made a total of 71 visits to groups of four year olds in schools from three contrasting areas in the South West of England. A total of 144 children and six teachers and six classroom assistants took part in the project. As well as observing how indoor and outdoor play was organised in the three schools, the researchers asked the children about their favourite games and used drawings, stories, role play scenarios and photographs to build a picture of their perspective on role play. ‘Listening to children’s views on use of space and lay-out could raise the value of play in the curriculum and reduce potential tensions between children and adults,’ explains Dr Rogers.


The project findings reveal a need for more outdoor play spaces so that children could have more choice over materials, locations and playmates. Such facilities would encourage girls to take a more active role in building activities and allow boys’ play to develop without disrupting people around them. ‘It is important that children are allowed to play for sustained periods without interventions from adults,’ confirms Dr Rogers.

The research findings illustrate that most children thought the purpose of pretend play was ‘for learning things.’ However, they liked playing with friends and ‘pretending’, and disliked ‘too much noise.’ The favourite theme for both boys and girls was ‘playing castles,’ although their drawings were strikingly different. The boys drew gory pictures of fighting and chopping off people’s heads, while the girls focused on princesses and ‘mums and dads’ and often embellished their pictures with colour and detail ‘to make it look prettier.’

The research highlights a number of gender differences in play. For instance, although girls sometimes combined traditional and less traditional roles, such as mum and astronaut, they more often chose to play domestic/maternal or nurturing and emotional caretaking roles. Boys, on the other hand, preferred to be robbers, superheroes or policemen in predominately action roles, despite teachers’ efforts to ‘de-gender’ role play.

A key observation of the study advises Dr Rogers is “that most children of this age are having their first experience out of the home environment. The importance of role play is learning to socialise, to interact with other children as well as to experiment with language and develop the intellect”.

Becky Gammon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies

28.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nano 'sandwich' offers unique properties

28.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Light beam replaces blood test during heart surgery

28.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>