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Title: A 'new' preschool curriculum that puts play on top : déjà vu or second chance?
Author: Ping, April Lee Seow
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 2981
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines explanatory theories of play and an empirical study of preschoolers' play. It aims to provide an understanding of the educational purpose, value and extent of play in children’s lives. Understanding the interrelationship between play, development and learning, the writer hopes to be better equipped to facilitate and organize a meaningful play environment during the preschool years of young children to guide them into realising their potential of becoming confident and communicative beings; never mind the neat handwriting or colouring that preschool education focuses so much upon in Singapore. Considering explanations, the dominant theories of Piaget and Vygotsky's ideas in the play field are discussed. A framework towards an integrated perspective of a play- centred curriculum is presented. Considering evidence, studies of children’s play development in the domains of cognitive, language, social and emotional development are reviewed and summarized. Propelled earlier in the year 2003 by the Ministry of Education, Singapore, to accord play at the top of a new preschool curriculum, a battery of simple play experiments and tests were carried out to establish the interdependence of play, learning and development of preschoolers. Answers to two research questions regarding play in the local preschool context were processed: (1) does thematic fantasy play training conducted during English Language Arts lessons increase preschoolers' incidences of fantasy play during free play periods? (2) Will thematic fantasy play training improve preschoolers' perspective- taking ability in the domains of cognition, perception and affection? The findings (N= 28) are presented. Their implications for Singapore preschool teacher training in a play- centred curriculum are discussed. The thesis concludes with a reconciliation of understanding amongst all the high- stakes players of preschool education: parents of preschool children, preschool teachers and of course, the preschoolers themselves. The ultimate purpose of this thesis is to lay out and execute a local yet truly new preschool curriculum that puts Play at the top.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available