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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Play in the primary school classroom? The experience of teachers supporting children's learning through a new pedagogy
Author(s): Martlew, Joan
Stephen, Christine
Ellis, Jennifer
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Keywords: active learning
teacher activity
children's engagement
Issue Date: Jan-2011
Citation: Martlew J, Stephen C & Ellis J (2011) Play in the primary school classroom? The experience of teachers supporting children's learning through a new pedagogy, Early Years, 31 (1), pp. 71-83.
Abstract: In Scotland in recent years there has been growing interest in an approach to a more play based pedagogy commonly described as Active Learning. The research reported in this article is an exploration of moves towards creating an active play based learning environment in six Primary 1 classrooms in Scotland and is concerned with (i) the children’s experiences in such a play based active learning environment in school and (ii) their teachers’ perspectives on this pedagogical innovation and their roles in supporting the learners. This study examined experiences and perspectives within and across each of the six child-centred and play-focused classes. The main findings suggest that the role of the teacher varies between what would be considered teacher-intensive and teacher initiated activities (Fisher,1996:55) ‘Active’ or play based learning’ was interpreted differently by teachers; play in some classrooms was peripheral rather than integral to the learning process and curriculum-embedded.
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Rights: Published in Early Years by Taylor & Francis (Routledge).; This is an electronic version of an article published in Early Years, Volume 31, Issue 1, January 2011, pp. 71 - 83. Early Years is available online at:;

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