This chapter develops themes providing insights into the meaning of play-based learning and what it means to practitioners working in a range of contexts with early learners in the age range of birth to eight years. Play-based learning is defined as young learners constructing knowledge as they explore, experiment, discover and solve problems in playful and unique ways. Development is linked to play and viewed as a pattern of continuous, interrelated changes that begins at birth and continue through life span whilst learning is a change in behaviour. In the early years it is through experience in play that learning occurs. The definition of curriculum in this chapter presents a context for young learners demonstrating how play-based learning is fundamental to the well-being of young learners, be they infants, babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers or school aged children.
The diversity of backgrounds of young learners is recognised and provision has to be made in the curriculum for a rich diversity of learners. The Chapter also considers how a socio-constructivist theoretical orientation in the curriculum can be created with children and adults co-constructing knowledge with play-based learning as the framework.
Field of Research
130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
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