ERIC Number: ED164127
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Structural Elements of Symbolic Play of Preschool Children.
Gowen, Jean W.
The structural elements of the spontaneous symbolic play of 2- and 3-year-olds were compared with those of 4- and 5-year-olds. All 32 children studied were enrolled in a private day care center. Each child was observed during free play in the center for 15 minutes. Three categories of signifiers (animate, inanimate and imaginary) and five modes of representation (enactment, object substitution, symbolic construction, preparatory behavior and comments) were identified. The data were coded in four phases. In the first phase of coding, incidents of symbolic play were identified. During the other three phases of coding, the structural elements, i.e. the signifieds, signifiers, and modes of representation, were identified, coded and counted. Seven transcripts were selected at random to be coded by two independent coders to yield reliability data. Percentage of agreement among coders ranged from 80 to 84 percent. Results suggest that younger children used more symbolic construction, preparation and comments as modes of representation and more animate and imaginary signifiers. Implications of results for Piaget's and Vvgotsky's theories of symbolic play are discussed. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (86th, Toronto, Canada, August 28-September 1, 1978)