ERIC Number: ED232786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Promotion of Play in the Indoor Play Environment.
Fernie, David E.
Although millions of young children spend much of their lives in classrooms, research rarely provides guidance to teachers organizing classrooms for play activities. Psychological literature on social play and pretend play illustrates the absence of clear guidance. Whereas early research posited a progression through levels of social play (i.e., solitary, parallel, associative, cooperative), subsequent findings have not supported the thesis that children progress in an ordered fashion through levels of play. Futher, the relative value of different levels of play is a matter of controversy. Teachers have received guidance concerning how the realism of materials affects pretend play in children of preschool age. However, few child development studies suggest features of architecture and settings that might promote pretend play. Priorities within child psychology, the experimental research paradigm, and difficulties in manipulating the physical environment may account for the absence of empirical findings providing guidance to teachers. Ethological studies of social play do suggest that materials and setting strongly influence the nature of children's social play, but these studies also provide little practical guidance to help teachers promote children's play in the indoor environment. Use of two new directions for research--design principles research and segments research--involving a collaboration of developmental and environmental disciplines, may provide greater practical knowledge than has previously been obtainable. (RH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Design Research; Segments Research
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Play and Play Environments (Austin, TX, June 1983).