Pushing play in primary : findings from three case study classes

Arnott, Lorna and Lamb, Christie and Milligan, Kayleigh and Connor, Nicola and Grogan, Deirdre (2020) Pushing play in primary : findings from three case study classes. SERA Research Education Bulletin. (In Press)

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    This paper explores the practicalities of implementing play-based pedagogy in early primary. Using a practitioner enquiry paradigm, data were collected during M.Ed research projects in three primary schools and presented via case study methodology. A multi-method approach was adopted, including interviews with practitioners, observations and pedagogically-designed consultation with children. The paper presents four findings: 1 Play in primary was heterogenous and context specific; 2.Teachers had considerable sway over the place of play in the classroom; 3. Children appeared engaged when they were leading their learning and playing, making the need for more play-based opportunities fundamental. 4. Lack of confidence, training, resourcing and the need to 'cover' the curriculum were apparent barriers to play pedagogy in Primary.