Children's Access to Their Right to Play

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology

  • Authors:
  • Francesca Woods

Abstract

The thesis focuses on play for early and middle childhood; children aged birth to twelve years. Children's access to their right to play has decreased internationally and teachers’ beliefs about play are likely to impact upon their practice. Therefore, a systematic literature review of teachers’ beliefs on play internationally was conducted. The second paper explores how play can be facilitated for children with SEND within a mainstream primary school. UNICEF UK Level 2 Rights Respecting schools embed the UNCRC rights within their policy and practice, at all levels of school life. This case study focuses specifically on how one Level 2 Rights Respecting school facilitates play for children with SEND. A third paper considers concepts of evidence-based practice, dissemination and implementation, and applies this to a dissemination strategy for the current research. The first paper explores elementary and early years teachers' beliefs on play internationally. Three data bases were systematically searched between October 2016 and January 2017 yielding 9792 hits for screening. 30 studies met eligibility criteria and were assessed for methodological quality and appropriateness of focus. Eleven remaining studies were included in the final review. The case study site was one mainstream primary school within the North of England. Data were collected via interviews with three children with SEND, their corresponding teachers, and their head teacher, and analysed using thematic analysis. Observations of the children, analysed using content analysis, further contributed to the data set. Findings from all data sources were triangulated to identify themes. The literature review reflects tensions within teachers’ definitions of play, and highlight beliefs on topical sub-types of play. The case study highlights how themes of inclusion, child-centred practice and teacher knowledge contribute towards facilitating play for children with SEND. The third paper considers common and effective methods of dissemination and implementation, and the implications of this for the current research. A dissemination strategy is outlined at different geographic and professional levels.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date31 Dec 2018