Original Research

Work and play in early childhood education: Views from Nigeria and South Africa

Florence T. Ogunyemi, Lara Ragpot
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 5, No 3 | a344 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v5i3.344 | © 2016 Florence T. Ogunyemi, Lara Ragpot | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 September 2015 | Published: 06 February 2016

About the author(s)

Florence T. Ogunyemi, Department of Childhood Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Educational Foundations and Instructional Technology, Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria
Lara Ragpot, Department of Childhood Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

The work reviews the ongoing controversy over work and play within the framework of a constructivist early childhood curriculum. Educators and parents with narrow perception of play view it as mere physical actions of walking, clapping and singing outside class work. However, educators who hold a constructivist epistemological view of child play see play as educative, and possessing ingredients for stimulation that foster an all-round development of children. The paper examines various dimensions of play and work within a constructivist early childhood education paradigm, with special reference to playful learning. The authors argue that teachers of young children need to conceptualize play with a supportive policy and procedural environment that meet the criteria for evaluational, relational and instrumental relevance. Some challenges associated with the use of playful learning in early childhood education centres in Nigeria and South Africa are highlighted.

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