Saturday, March 23, 2013

Research that Benefits Children and Families

            The research topic I am interested in is the benefits of children’s play/learning in a naturalized setting. There is more research out there then I originally thought, but the focus I would concentrate my study would be with programs in cities with limited natural space. The data would be collected in participating programs as they are right now. Then data collected after teacher training in the same programs and adding natural features to outside spaces. The purpose of this study would be to illustrate the gains in creative play, problem solving, child initiated experiences, expanded language and corporative play. All of these illustrated gains involve teacher support, asking open-ended questions and seeing play as an important part of academic growth.

        The benefits of this study would be creating quality-learning experiences for children of all socio-economical levels. This in turn would reduce the achievement gap when entering kindergarten. Benefits of teacher education on age appropriate open ended play as an important part of children’s development in all domains. Value would also come for communities to look at play spaces for young children in public parks and schoolyards. Many community natural spaces are built by the community itself, providing ownership and space for families to enjoy.


  1. Tina,
    I enjoyed reading your blog this week. Play, plays an important role in the life of children especially in their develops. I also enjoyed te pictures you posted, I remember also comparing about books wihtout pictures, I always wondered ow was I to unferstand what they are talking about.

  2. I really liked your proposed research study. I am a big advocate for play within early childhood education. I'd be interested to see the results if this study were actually completed. Limited natural space is a big concern for some centers, so a research study that reveals strategies on how to utilize the small space sounds so helpful. I also really liked how you pulled in teacher education and the community. It sounds likes a great start to research. Thanks for sharing!


  3. There are so many benefits to feee play. However, there seems to be little time to add it into the lives of my kindergarteners. I try to allow my students to play academic games that gets them out of their seats. I believe that families are going to have to step-up and insure that their children get free play as much as possible without going over board. This is when your research and research like yours about the importance of play can be beneficial to families. I do not think that most people professionals, parents or other stockholders in education understand the importance of play.

  4. Tina-
    I love your idea. This is something I don't often think about where I live (in Vermont). There is so much opportunity here for play in natural settings that I often forget about what play may look like in big cities and such. It could help me in that the weatehr where I live is often unpredictable from day to day so often times teachers keep children inside because of the rain/ice/snow/cold. But is this also affecting a child's development or is it okay for them to play in weather like described above?

    Victoria Leming

    1. Victoria,
      there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Weather condition (within reason) and the unpredictability it brings are what spurs creative thinking, when building a stick structure and a gust of wind blows it down, the reconstruction has to be sturdier. Or a teacher who supports this unpredictability can offer string and a plastic bag to use the wind power to explore. The only time I don't bring my kids outside is when it is 5 degrees or lower (even then we put warm clothes on to run for a few min.) Thank you for your question.