Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 241–246 | Cite as

The Impact of Teacher-Directed and Child-Directed Pretend Play on Cognitive Competence in Kindergarten Children

  • Vlasta Gmitrová
  • Juraj Gmitrov


The goal of our research was to study different forms of organization of pretend play on children's cognitive performance in a mixed-age environment. We studied two forms of management of the playing process: (a) teacher-directed play with simultaneous involvement of all children in the classroom, where the teacher plays the dominant role in the education process directing children's activity, and (b) child-directed play in various small groups. Twenty-six observations were performed on 51 children in two mixed-age classrooms. The mean age of the children was 4.6 years, with age span from 3 to 6 years. Data were collected regarding children's affective and cognitive behavior according to generally accepted taxonomies: Bloom for the cognitive domain, and Krathwohl for affective domain. We found a significant increase in cognitive manifestations during direction of the playing process in groups compared with frontal management of the lesson (113.1 ± 12.1 vs. 45.7 ± 10.3, mean ± SEM, p < 0.0001), which is related with better employment of the powerful education engine of the free-play children.

play mixed-age groups preschool child affective domain 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vlasta Gmitrová
    • 1
  • Juraj Gmitrov
    • 2
  1. 1.PrešovSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Internal Medicine Clinic IVL. Pasteur University HospitalKošiceSlovak Republic

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