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Evaluating the impact of teacher-designed, wellbeing and sustainability play-based learning experiences on young children’s knowledge connections: A randomised trial
journal contributionposted on 2018-12-01, 00:00 authored by Heather Morris, Susan Edwards, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, Leonie RutherfordLeonie Rutherford, Janet Williams-Smith, Helen Skouteris
This paper reports findings from a randomised investigation into the effect of teacher-designed play-based learning experiences on preschool aged children’s knowledge connections between wellbeing concepts like healthy eating and active play, and sustainability. The investigation used a ‘funds of knowledge’ theoretical framework to situate young children’s interests in digital media and popular-culture, as a site for learning these knowledge connections. The findings suggest that the intervention group children created more wellbeing and sustainability knowledge connections than the wait-list control group children. Additionally, intervention group children demonstrated an increase in vegetable serves and decreased unhealthy food servings post-intervention (measured by parent report). The paper suggests that more attention should be paid to the capacity of early childhood teachers to actively build children’s knowledge about wellbeing and sustainability concepts through play-based learning, over top-down approaches toward obesity education and prevention alone.