Understanding and supporting block play: video observation research on preschoolers’ block play to identify features associated with the development of abstract thinking

OTSUKA, Kaoru and JAY, Tim (2016). Understanding and supporting block play: video observation research on preschoolers’ block play to identify features associated with the development of abstract thinking. Early Child Development and Care, 1-14. (In Press)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2016.1234466
Link to published version:: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1234466

Abstract

This article reports on a study conducted to investigate the development of abstract thinking in preschool children (ages from 3 years to 4 years old) in a nursery school in England. Adopting a social influence approach, the researcher engaged in 'close listening' to document children's ideas expressed in various representations through video observation. The aim was to identify behaviours connected with features of the functional dependency relationship – a cognitive function that connects symbolic representations with abstract thinking. The article presents three episodes to demonstrate three dominating features, which are i) child/child sharing of thinking and adult and child sharing of thinking; ii) pause for reflection; and iii) satisfaction as a result of self-directed play. These features were identified as signs of learning, and were highlighted as phenomena that can help practitioners to understand the value of quality play and so provide adequate time and space for young children and plan for a meaningful learning environment. The study has also revealed the importance of block play in promoting abstract thinking. Keywords: abstract thinking; functional dependency relationship; social influence approach; block play; preschool; video observation; qualitative research

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1234466
Depositing User: Tim Jay
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2016 15:12
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 16:00
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13380

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