Following in our footsteps

how adult demonstrations of literacy and numeracy can influence children’s spontaneous play and improve learning outcomes

Yeshe Colliver*, Amaël Arguel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Play is traditionally considered the foundation of learning in the early years. Because play is characterized by free choice, it can be difficult for adults to ensure all learning is useful for children. The intervention described here took a novel approach to this problematic. It exposed 17 four-year-olds to different adult demonstrations to see if they influenced what children were interested to play with. It was theorized that by demonstrating certain problem-solving activities to children over four weeks, value would be ascribed to these literacy or numeracy activities and children would play with them. In doing so, they would learn literacy and numeracy skills. Results indicate that children exposed to numeracy demonstrations played significantly more with numeracy concepts, and those exposed to literacy demonstrations improved on reading measures. What children are exposed to may influence their interests and learning. Implications for early childhood education and parenting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1108
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Volume188
Issue number8
Early online date26 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Play-based curricula
  • learning through play
  • legitimate peripheral participation

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