Original Research

Guided play as a pedagogical tool for the early grades

Lerato B. Ndabezitha, Sarah Gravett
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 14, No 1 | a1345 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v14i1.1345 | © 2024 Lerato B. Ndabezitha, Sarah Gravett | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 March 2023 | Published: 24 January 2024

About the author(s)

Lerato B. Ndabezitha, Department of Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sarah Gravett, Department of Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Research has shown the benefits of play for children’s learning and development. Play can also be harnessed for pursuing pre-determined learning goals related to school curricula through ‘guided’ play.

Aim: The research inquired into the implementation of a pre-service teacher education course on play as pedagogy to evaluate and refine the course’s design principles.

Setting: The study was conducted at the University of Johannesburg, involving pre-service teachers within the Bachelor of Education in the foundation phase of schooling.

Methods: The research formed part of a broader design-based research study. The data were collected via questionnaires, interviews, analysis of students’ work and a research journal. A combination of inductive and deductive data analysis was used.

Results: The way in which the course was designed and implemented was successful in helping students develop a basic understanding of guided play, although there were gaps in their understanding of their guiding role; student teachers learnt that creativity could be developed through play.

Conclusion: In general, the design principles served the course and its implementation well because students learnt much about guided play. However, a major gap was the insufficient focus on guiding practices. Such practices should receive considerable attention in a pre-service teacher education course on guided play. A stronger focus on the interconnectedness of play and creativity in a course on guided play for pre-service teachers will be beneficial.

Contribution: The research on teacher preparation for using play-based teaching and learning is limited. This study contributes to addressing this gap.


Keywords

guided play; playful learning; pre-service teacher education; creativity; play

Metrics

Total abstract views: 381
Total article views: 292


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.