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Playground in preschool as a place for children's active learning and play

Darja Cencelj (2018) Playground in preschool as a place for children's active learning and play. MSc thesis.

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    This master's thesis explores playground in preschool as a place for active learning and children's play. In the theoretical part, I presented the importance of children's participation and the role of internal and external space for playing and learning of preschool children with an emphasis on the kindergarten playground. At the same time, I derived from the standards and norms for playgrounds defined by law, and described the views of some contemporary pedagogical approaches to the role of space and the role of an adult in preschool. The research was quantitative, with 78 educational workers from three preschool included in the sample. Using the questionnaires for educational workers that lead classes of children aged 4–6, I examined the role of a playground, its organisation and functionality in organising play and outdoor learning. I was focused on the question whether satisfaction with the organization and functionality of the playground is connected with the fact that professional staff uses it more often and with more efficiency. I also studied the attitude of educational workers towards children's participation in outdoor activities and compared my results with the results of similar studies (Batistič Zorec, 2010; Jan, 2016). The results of the research show that the educational workers involved in the research are aware of the importance of child's participation and believe that participation of children in the educational process is necessary. Most respondents say that when planning activities, they listen to wishes, expectations and ideas of children, and bring them into planning and implementation of educational work. However, this does not mean that children actually co-shape activities or the life in preschool. The study thus showed a gap between the principled view of educational workers that the participation of children is important and their practical behaviour. Statistical analysis showed that the assessment of arrangement and functionality of a preschool playground does not affect the length of time spent outdoors, which leads me to conclusion that other factors, that I could not determine in the survey, influence the length of outdoor time. In addition, the analysis of the relationship between the length of time spent outdoors and the inclusion of children in planning of activities did not show statistically significant differences, which means that the participation of children in outdoor activities is independent of time they spend at the playground or elsewhere outdoors. The research in some elements confirmed the results of the aforementioned other studies, which were focused on participation of children in planning activities in preschool – indoor or at playgrounds. With the selected sample, I have obtained results that, although indicate problems that are probably also topical in other preschool, I am aware that they cannot be generalised to the entire preschool population. I expect that the findings of the research will contribute to changing attitudes of educational workers regarding the use of preschool playgrounds and change the practice, especially in the direction of greater consideration of children’s participation in preschool activities.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: pre-school children, play, preschool playground, active learning, children’s participation
    Number of Pages: 56
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Marcela Batistič ZorecMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11945289)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5011
    Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 11:33
    Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 11:33
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5011

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