Original Research - Teaching and learning mathematics, sciences, design and technology in the Early Years

Music-inspired free play to foster scientific exploration in early childhood

Mignon van Vreden
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 8, No 2 | a560 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v8i2.560 | © 2018 Mignon van Vreden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 July 2017 | Published: 31 July 2018


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Abstract

Background: The importance of music and play in early childhood development is widely acknowledged. However, no recent studies have investigated the potential of music-inspired free play to foster scientific exploration.

 

Aim: The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explain the rationale in utilising musical skills, knowledge and experiences during free play to foster scientific exploration, applying a constructivist approach with the learner placed at the centre of the educational process, while the teacher acts as observer and facilitator.

 

Setting: Data were primarily collected through documents to create a concept map that informed observations of preschoolers during free play at two day-care centres in Mohadin in the North-West Province of South Africa.

 

Methods: An explanatory case study provided the context for this study and a document analysis informed the findings.

 

Results: Through data analysis, key themes were identified from the literature and observations to generate a conceptual model that illustrates the influence of music-inspired free play to foster scientific exploration by stimulating creativity and emphasising the necessity of free play in preschool settings.

 

Conclusion: The conclusion of this investigation was a better understanding of the capacity of young learners to apply scientific exploration, utilising a transdisciplinary approach for teaching and learning the sciences in the early years to develop a better understanding of their world through music-inspired free play.


Keywords

music; free play; preschool; scientific exploration; early childhood

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