1st Edition

Learning and Connecting in School Playgrounds Using the Playground as a Curriculum Resource

Edited By Llyween Couper, Dean Sutherland Copyright 2019
    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    Play is critical to children’s well-being and development. All students should have access to and adequate time for positive play experiences every day. Learning and Connecting in School Playgrounds invites parents, teachers, principals and education administrators to take another look at their school playgrounds as spaces crucial to learning, well-being and development.

    This book combines research findings, commentary and the authors’ personal experiences and observations together with the views of teachers, principals, parents and students related to play and play spaces. Key content includes consideration of the role of adults in the school playground, the influence of technology on play, the challenges experienced by children transitioning to new school environments and consideration of strategies to support students’ access and participation in the playground. Cases are presented to illustrate the use of an audit tool to enhance school playgrounds. The future of school playgrounds is also considered through the reported hopes and dreams of adults and students and a range of recommendations are made for the review and development of schools’ outdoor play spaces.

    Learning and Connecting in School Playgrounds is written with a sense of urgency, calling for the recognition of positive play experiences as invaluable to children’s education. It includes important and challenging insights to inform and guide decision-making and will be an essential resource for all stakeholders who share responsibility for children’s participation and learning during school break-times.

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors


    Chapter 1. Play Defined: The Search for Play Llyween Couper

    Chapter 2. School Break-Times: To Be or Not to Be? Llyween Couper

    Chapter 3. Playgrounds for Learning, Communicating and Playing Dean Sutherland And Alex Gosteva

    Chapter 4. The Role of Adults in School Playgrounds: The No-Rules Playground Llyween Couper And Bruce McLachlan

    Chapter 5. Traditional Games and Media Informed Play in The Playground Llyween Couper

    Chapter 6. Moving from Early Childhood to Primary School Playgrounds Llyween Couper And Christine Rietveld

    Chapter 7. Transitions from Primary to Secondary School Playgrounds: From Reality to Virtual Reality Dean Sutherland

    Chapter 8. Landscaping for Play: Who and What Is the Playground For? Llyween Couper

    Chapter 9. Culturally Responsive Practice in the School Playground Llyween Couper

    Chapter 10. Improving School Playgrounds: Making Changes Based on Data Llyween Couper

    Chapter 11. School Playgrounds for The Future: What Do Children and Adults Want? Dean Sutherland



    Llyween Couper, PhD completed a PhD in 2015 at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, where she is currently co-presenting Master's level courses by distance in Autism and Teaching and Learning in Inclusive Settings. Llyween is a registered teacher and worked as a Resource Teacher, Learning and Behaviour in primary and secondary schools in Christchurch, New Zealand. During this time she was awarded a 10-week sabbatical to develop a playground audit tool.

    Dean Sutherland, PhD is a senior lecturer and speech-language therapist at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. His research interests include supporting parents, whānau and teachers to understand how to grow children’s communication and social connections. Dean is passionate about the role of play and play spaces in children’s lives.