Adult-child interaction during play as an approach to teaching and learning with children from 3 to 6 years of age in a formalised school environment is described in an Action Research study. The study was carried out in an independent school in the Northwest of England where focus groups were used to encourage self-reflection and group discussions with the aim of provoking change in practice. The answers to the key questions asked during the discussions generated data that determined how participants felt about using play as a hands-on approach to learning. Following a period of trialling of play as a strategy, it was concluded that there was a place for play as a teaching and learning strategy in a formalised school environment. However, it was also noticed that instructional delivery of concepts was still a curriculum expectation. The findings showed how adult-child interaction could have an impact on the development of language and communication skills. It was also confirmed that participants benefited by discussing own practice. Participants questioned whether formal teaching and learning was a parental expectation in an independent school. It was identified that further research was needed with the aim of sharing with parents the benefits play can have on the development of childrens language and communication skills. Although play as a hands-on approach was seen as useful, the need for further research to study the impact specific play strategies may have on the development of individual children over a period of time was also identified.
Alicia Blanco-Bayo, Kirkham Grammar School, United Kingdom
Stream: Student Learning, Learner Experiences and Learner Diversity
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