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Exploring Teachers' Perspectives on Incorporating Playful Learning in the 21st Century Kindergarten.

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Title:Exploring Teachers' Perspectives on Incorporating Playful Learning in the 21st Century Kindergarten.
Authors:Lock, Theresa F.
Contributors:Professional Ed Practice (department)
playful learning
early childhood education
show 2 moredevelopmentally appropriate practice
Common Core State Standards
show less
Date Issued:Aug 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Decades of research have shown how play is a major vehicle for young children’s development and learning. However, since the 1990’s with greater emphasis on higher academic standards and accountability in the U.S. educational system, kindergarten teachers felt pressured to reduce or eliminate play for more didactic instruction and mandated assessments. In 2010, new higher-level national Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were released and adopted by 42 states, including Hawaiʻi. The CCSS affirm that play is a welcomed activity to address these standards, yet there has been limited research on how kindergarten teachers are incorporating play in their standards-based classrooms. The purpose of this multiple case study explored how four Hawaiʻi public school kindergarten teachers utilized playful learning to address CCSS. Data was collected through individual and focus group interviews. Data was analyzed and emerging themes about teachers’ perceptions surfaced. Findings show that all teachers embraced a philosophy that valued playful learning in kindergarten, however, they varied in the instructional approaches they used, supports they had, and challenges they faced to incorporate play into their classroom practice. These variations seemed to be dependent on the interplay between validation they received from their school principals and colleagues; and, teachers’ own sense about their power to make intentional pedagogical decisions. One implication is how teacher educators can improve future professionals’ decision-making skills in using play in the curriculum. A question raised for future research is how a teachers’ study group might enhance kindergarten teachers’ competence in utilizing a play-based curriculum model to advance children’s learning through rigorous engaging play.
Description:Ed.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ed.D. - Professional Practice

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