Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Learning in Play-Based Environments

  • Jennifer SumsionEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_226-3


Understandings about learning in play-based early years’ education contexts (for children aged from 6 weeks to 8 years) have become increasingly diverse and complex in recent years. Many early years’ learning and curriculum frameworks developed in countries around the world over the last decade or so reflect a shift away from developmentally appropriate practicethat closely linked children’s learning capacities to their developmental “stage” and advocated child-centered approaches that primarily involved teachers responding to children’s self-initiated interests and self-directed play. Especially in predominantly European-heritage countries, play is still considered essential to children’s learning. However, conceptualizations of play, and views about the extent to which, and ways in which, teachers should engage in children’s play vary widely. The following discussion identifies some new understandings about learning in play-based contexts and flags some associated...


Teacher Involvement Shared Thinking Unquestioned Assumption Related Study Research Research Effective Pedagogy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Teacher EducationCharles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia