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ERIC Number: EJ818047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0957-5146
An Appropriate Curriculum for 4-5-Year-Old Children in Northern Ireland: Comparing Play-Based and Formal Approaches
Walsh, Glenda; Sproule, Liz; McGuinness, Carol; Trew, Karen; Rafferty, Harry; Sheehy, Noel
Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development, v26 n2 p201-221 Jul 2006
This paper reports on an investigation into the quality of the learning experiences for 4-5-year-old children in Northern Ireland schools in the context of the debate about play-based and formal approaches to learning and teaching. Detailed observations were carried out in 70 Year 1 classes: 38 in traditional Year 1 classes where the Northern Ireland National Curriculum is being delivered, and 32 in Enriched Curriculum classes, where a more developmentally appropriate, play-based and child-centred curriculum is being piloted. The quality of the learning experience in each class was assessed using a structured observation schedule, i.e. Walsh and Gardner's "Quality learning instrument". Overall the Enriched Curriculum appears to be providing 4-5-year-old children in Northern Ireland with a higher-quality learning experience. The children are given more opportunities to act independently, are engaged in more challenging activities and are more learning disposed, and they show higher levels of emotional, social and physical well-being. The findings are discussed in terms of what constitutes an appropriate curriculum for this age group. (Contains 2 notes, 5 tables, and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland