Collaborative research between academics and practitioners to enhance play engagement in the free play of two- and three-year olds

This paper discusses collaborative research between academics and practitioners to enhance the level of play engagement in nine groups of toddlers in The Netherlands. Researchers and pedagogic counsellors designed a structured experiment to test the effects of four pedagogical strategies: confronting the children with a rearranged activity corner; free play, with the teacher available at a distance; entrance of the teacher into the rearranged corner; free play, with the teacher nearby. Videos of the experiments were quantitatively and qualitatively analysed by the researchers. The level of play engagement was high with the teacher at a distance and with the teacher nearby. When the teacher was nearby, the role of onlooker enhanced play engagement. The role of player and play leader only enhanced play engagement when there were two-sided interactions. The counsellors and teachers discussed results and continued to experiment. They presented their results at a symposium for teachers, counsellors, managers and academics. The counsellors produced manuals to integrate practitioner research into their coaching of teachers. © 2018 TACTYC

This paper discusses collaborative research between academics and practitioners to enhance the level of play engagement in nine groups of toddlers in The Netherlands. Researchers and pedagogic counsellors designed a structured experiment to test the effects of four pedagogical strategies: confronting the children with a rearranged activity corner; free play, with the teacher available at a distance; entrance of the teacher into the rearranged corner; free play, with the teacher nearby. Videos of the experiments were quantitatively and qualitatively analysed by the researchers. The level of play engagement was high with the teacher at a distance and with the teacher nearby. When the teacher was nearby, the role of onlooker enhanced play engagement. The role of player and play leader only enhanced play engagement when there were two-sided interactions. The counsellors and teachers discussed results and continued to experiment. They presented their results at a symposium for teachers, counsellors, managers and academics. The counsellors produced manuals to integrate practitioner research into their coaching of teachers. © 2018 TACTYC

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