1st Edition

Rethinking Play as Pedagogy

Edited By Sophie Alcock, Nicola Stobbs Copyright 2019
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    The conceptualisation and practice of play is considered core to early childhood pedagogy. In this essential text, contributors from a range of countries and cultures explore how play might be defined, encouraged and interpreted in early childhood settings and practice.

    Rethinking Play as Pedagogy provides a fresh perspective of play as a purposeful pedagogy offering multi-layered opportunities for learning and development. Written to provoke group discussion and extend thinking, opportunities for international comparison, points for reflection and editorial provocations, this volume will help students engage critically with a variety of understandings of play, and diverse approaches to harnessing children’s natural propensity to play. Considering the role of the learning environment, the practitioner, the wider community, and policy, chapters are divided into four key sections which reflect major influences on practice and pedagogy:

    • Being alongside children
    • Those who educate
    • Embedding families and communities
    • Working with systems

    Offering in-depth discussion of diverse perceptions, potentials and practicalities of early childhood play, this text will enhance understanding, support self-directed learning, and provoke and transform thinking at both graduate and postgraduate levels, particularly in the field of early childhood education and care, for students, educators, integrated service providers and policy makers.

    List of illustrations

    Series editors, volume editors and contributors

    Preface: entering contested waters by ALMA FLEET AND MICHAEL REED

    Volume editors’ acknowledgements

    Series editors’ acknowledgements

    SECTION ONE: Being alongside children

    Chapter 1: Playing with digital drawing – Janet Robertson

    Chapter 2: Preschool teachers being people alongside young children: The development of adults' relational competence in playworlds – Beth Ferholt, Monica Nilsson and Robert. Lecusay

    Chapter 3: Playing in and through the musical worlds of children – Margaret S. Barrett

    Editorial Provocations: Engaging readers and extending thinking – Sophie Alcock

    SECTION TWO: Those who educate

    Chapter 4: Observing and interpreting young children playing: reflecting on feelings – Sophie Alcock

    Chapter 5: Growing playful pedagogy: a case study of educational change – Alma Fleet and Mel Kemenyvary

    Chapter 6: The role of context within Early Childhood Education in Ireland – Margaret O’Donoghue

    Editorial Provocations: Engaging readers and extending thinking – Sophie Alcock

    SECTION THREE: Embedding families and communities

    Chapter 7: Recognising and responding to family funds of knowledge - Helen Hedges, Maria Cooper, Tamar Weisz-Koves

    Chapter 8: Opening the school gates: facilitating after-school play in school grounds – Marianne Mannello, Mark Connolly, Sandra Dumitrescu, Cheryl Ellis, Chantelle Haughton, Sian Sarwar, Jacky Tyrie

    Chapter 9: Pedagogical documentation as ‘agora’: why it may be viewed as a form of citizenship for children, parents, and communities – Elisabetta Biffi

    Editorial Provocations: Engaging readers and extending thinking – Sophie Alcock

    SECTION FOUR: Working with systems

    Chapter 10: Spinning the kaleidoscope: A conversation around play, learning, policies, and systems – Alma Fleet and Michael Reed

    Chapter 11: Influences of macrosystems in children’s spaces; Regaining the paradigm – Mandy Andrews

    Chapter 12: Micro-policies of adult-child joint play in the context of the Finnish ECEC system – Maiju Paananen and Anna Pauliina Rainio

    Editorial Provocations: Engaging readers and extending thinking – Nicola Stobbs

    Coda: Thinking forward – Michael Reed and Alma Fleet


    Sophie Alcock is senior lecturer in Education at the University of Wellington, New Zealand.

    Nicola Stobbs is a senior lecturer at the Department for Children & Families, University of Worcester, UK.