Collective Imagining in Play

  • Marilyn Fleer
Part of the International perspectives on early childhood education and development book series (CHILD, volume 8)


Large numbers of articles, books and chapters have been devoted to play. Much of the research reported in these publications tends to focus on a naturalist view of play, where play is conceptualized as being driven from within the individual. In moving beyond a naturalistic and individual view of play, this chapter examines how children collectively imagine during play. In exploring how children move in and out of imaginary situations, and simultaneously are in and out of the play, a new conception of play is presented. It is argued that play scripts are not just the property of the individual player but should be viewed collectively and as continually moving across group settings.


Early Childhood Education Play Activity Preschool Setting Object Substitution Play Partner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Data cited in this chapter is drawn from an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. The principal research assistant in this project was Avis Ridgway. A deeper reading of the arguments presented in this chapter was possible through extended discussions with Chris Peers, and through participation in the series of dialectical reading group he led.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child and Community Research GroupMonash UniversityFrankstonAustralia

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