The status-quo of play-based pedagogies in Western Australia: Reflections of early childhood education practitioners
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
Sage Publications Ltd
School of Education
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative research project conducted in 2017 that explored practitioners’ experiences and perceptions of the provision of play pedagogies in contemporary Western Australian early childhood education contexts. Interviews were conducted with four play-based learning teachers and an open-ended survey was completed by 40 early childhood educators who were members of the audience at a Western Australia conference in 2017. The study participants discussed beliefs and values pertaining to quality play-based learning and tensions associated with the diminishing role of play in the early years of schooling and its impact on young children. They also highlighted several enablers and barriers that influence and shape current early childhood education practice. The findings of this study provide further evidence for the issues identified in recent Early Childhood Australia (Western Australia) discussion papers and in other research surrounding play-based learning in the current social-political context. © The Author(s) 2019.