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Reflection on the work at the adventure playground in the city of Maribor

Nataša Hauzer (2014) Reflection on the work at the adventure playground in the city of Maribor. Diploma thesis.

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    The aim of the thesis is to present reflection on the work in the Adventure Playground in the City of Maribor (hereinafter: the Adventure Playground), using principles of playwork. The theoretical part consists of a description of the main characteristics of playwork, explanation on how play is understood among experts, and detailed presentation of the adventure playground as an environment where playwork is carried out. Special attention has been given to employees in adventure playgrounds and their role. The empirical part consists of research findings, namely reflection of the happening in the Adventure Playground that I was part of. The research was based on the following criteria: what opportunities does the play environment offer, what kind of interventions do employees choose, and how children’s wishes and needs can be fulfilled in this adventure playground. A part of the content of the theoretical as well as empirical part consists of employees’ reflection and influence of personal experience on their work. My findings show that the Adventure Playground as a play environment offers a wide variety of materials and diverse play opportunities that already fulfill various needs of children. Moreover, children can have influence on almost all the aspects of the happening in the playground, except for its opening hours, the amount of materials offered, and issues of safety. Playworkers choose various styles of interventions to keep the play alive, such as play maintenance, simple involvement and medial interventions (i.e. providing additional materials, giving play cues, responding to play cues, withdrawal from play, etc.). Moreover, sometimes they also intervene to end a play. The thesis also reveals playworkers’ assessment of their own work compared to the theory of playwork. As important characteristics of the Adventure Playground they highlighted the following elements: the playground being actually made for children; the importance given to space where children can play without adults; free play; children having opportunities to develop skills that cannot be developed in other environments. At the same time the Adventure Playground is a controlled-risk environment. Assessing their own work, the playworkers highlighted their often too instinctive reactions. The empirical part of my thesis, covering employees' self-reflection and finding reasons for their interventions, what is one of the bases of reflection, provides an important contribution to the field of playwork.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: playwork, children's play, adventure playground, playworkers, reflection, influence of personal experience
    Number of Pages: 80
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Alenka KoboltMentor
    asist. dr. Tomaž VecComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10061641)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2143
    Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2014 08:31
    Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 08:31
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2143

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