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Play-Based Learning: Evidence-Based Research to Improve Children’s Learning Experiences in the Kindergarten Classroom

Abstract

With a heavy increase in academic expectations and standards to be learned in the early years, educators are facing the challenge of integrating important academic standards into developmentally appropriate learning experiences for children in kindergarten. To meet this challenge, there is a need to become familiar with the role of play in the classroom with an emphasis on developmentally appropriate practices such as play-based learning (PBL). PBL is child-centered and focuses on children’s academic, social, and emotional development, and their interests and abilities through engaging and developmentally appropriate learning experiences. This paper explores the definition of play-based learning (PBL), the theoretical frameworks and historical research that have shaped PBL, the different types of play, the social and academic benefits of PBL, and the ways in which educators can facilitate, support, assess, and employ technology to enhance PBL. The authors will conclude by reflecting on how teaching practices can be informed by evidence-based research to improve children’s learning experiences in the kindergarten classroom.

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Correspondence to Wanda Boyer.

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Taylor, M.E., Boyer, W. Play-Based Learning: Evidence-Based Research to Improve Children’s Learning Experiences in the Kindergarten Classroom. Early Childhood Educ J 48, 127–133 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-019-00989-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-019-00989-7

Keywords

  • Play-based Learning
  • Play-based assessment
  • Play
  • Developmentally appropriate practice
  • Kindergarten