Playful learning environments (PLEs) have been constructed in schoolyards in Finland with the aim of increasing learning through play in curriculum-based education. In order to better understand and inform this development, the Hyvönen sets out to ascertain how teachers view and use play in kindergarten and elementary education. Fourteen teachers were interviewed, and the data obtained were analyzed using the grounded theory approach. Eight play types were distinguished, with the teacher having the roles of leader, allower, and afforder. Play types were found to be either curriculum-driven, or seen as facilitating friendship or integrating play and learning as a process. ‘Playful teaching’ was characterized in terms of the roles assumed by teachers and students in different play situations, the design of playful learning processes, the emphasis on developing and using children’s creativity, and the importance of fun and enjoyment. The Hyvönen concludes that teacher education should develop teachers’ pedagogical thinking through the theoretical understanding of play and learning, as well as through discussions and the modeling of play and playful teaching within teacher education programs
Hyvonen, P. T.
Play in the School Context? The Perspectives of Finnish Teachers.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(8).