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ERIC Number: EJ919152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-7187
A Multicultural Perspective on Play and Learning in Primary School
Lillemyr, Ole Fredrik; Sobstad, Frode; Marder, Kurt; Flowerday, Terri
International Journal of Early Childhood, v43 n1 p43-65 Mar 2011
In the school's conception of learning, the cultural aspect of children's play has often been lacking. In different countries, it is emphasized that play is important for learning (Dockett and Fleer, Play and pedagogy in early childhood: Bending the rules. Harcourt Brace & Comp, Sydney, "1999"; Lillemyr, Nordisk Pedagogik/Nordic Educational Research 22:38-52, "2002"; Wood and Attfield, Play, learning and the early childhood curriculum, 2nd ed. Paul Chapman, London, "2005"). Recent research has focused on social aspects and friendship as fundamental elements in learning activities. A sense of relatedness to culture is strongly linked to aspects of self-determination, respect, and sense of competence. The socio-cultural theory perspective is of special relevance in this concern, as presented in the theories of Vygotsky and Deci & Ryan (Deci and Ryan, In: Efficacy, agency, and self-esteem. Plenum Press, New York/London, 31-49, "1995"; Vygotsky, Thought and language. The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, "1986"), as this perspective is essential in promoting motivation for all students, irrespective of background. In a cross-cultural research study of student groups in Australia, USA ,and Norway; the intention was to identify cultural profiles among student groups on their interests in play, learning preference, self-concept and motivational orientation, applying scales, and interviews. Similarities and differences were documented among Aboriginal, Navajo, and Sami students, compared with non-indigenous (majority) students, in interest in free vs. directed play and learning, aspects of self-concept, and motivation. A tendency of indigenous students to favor a traditional, teacher-directed concept of learning was found, compared to non-Indigenous students. Furthermore, indigenous students had a significantly lower self-concept, compared to non-indigenous students (presented elsewhere, Lillemyr et al., Students' relatedness--a neglected aspect of motivation and learning? AARE International Conference in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, "2009"). In Norway, teachers of indigenous students used play to a lesser degree than teachers of majority students. Teachers in Arizona and Australia seldom used play in the classroom. Our research indicates friendship and sense of competence are important for students' motivation to participate and achieve in school, partly confirming results from other research studies. The authors found a sense of relatedness to be quintessential in this concern. Educational consequences for play and learning in multicultural early years' education are suggested.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Australia; Norway; United States