Original Research

Effects of a 6 Brick Duplo Block guided play intervention on pre-literate learners’ visual perception

Sarah Jemutai, Paul Webb
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 9, No 1 | a634 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v9i1.634 | © 2019 Sarah Jemutai, Paul Webb | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 March 2018 | Published: 28 August 2019

About the author(s)

Sarah Jemutai, Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Paul Webb, Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Literature reveals that guided play promotes the development of visuospatial abilities essential for learning to read, write and do mathematics. However, most of these findings have focused on older children who are already literate, and the tests and the instruments used were designed for children in Western contexts.

Aim: As there is little data on the development of visuospatial abilities in pre-literate children in African contexts, this study set out to explore the effects of using a guided block play intervention on the development of these abilities in pre-literate children.

Setting: The study was carried out in two classrooms (one experimental and the other comparative) in each of two schools, one in South Africa and one in Kenya.

Methods: The study used a pre- and post-test, quasi-experimental, mixed-methods approach. The intervention and test used, namely, the Visual Perception Aspects Test, were designed and validated in African contexts.

Results: The data revealed that using the 6 Brick Duplo Block guided play approach statistically significantly accelerated the development of visuospatial abilities in pre-literate children in the experimental groups over those in the control groups (no intervention). The data also revealed that the greatest improvements were made among children who had few prior opportunities to engage in guided play using physical manipulatives.

Conclusion: The overall findings of the study suggest that the development of aspects of visuospatial perception is accelerated when teachers use this approach to facilitate guided play. This finding has implications for promoting the development of reading, writing and numeracy skills in pre-literate children.


Keywords

guided play; visuospatial perception; 6 Brick Duplo Blocks; Visual Perception Aspects Test; VPAT; accelerated visuospatial development

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