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Through the parents' and educators' eyes: Play of preschool aged children in need of special support
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, CHILD.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Play is the primary activity of childhood. It is connected to other areas of child’s development, therefore through play, children improve skills and abilities. The most common categorization of play is into the developmental and social aspect of play. The highest level of play is achieved when the true social play occurs. The ideal setting for social play to occur is early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions. ECEC in Croatia is striving for inclusion of children with difficulties/special needs, as stated in Croatian ECEC leading documents. In this study, these children will be referred to as children in need of special support since is perceived that name reflects the bio-psycho-social model of disability that recognizes issues in child´s functioning, apart from the child itself, coming from the environment. All the services, for children in need of special support, including ECEC are disability-based. It has been found that children in need of special support experience problems during play which affects other domains of development.

The purpose of the study is to investigate play of children in need of special support and the factors, i.e., facilitators and barriers for their play. Play of the children in need of special support is chosen to be explored through the perception of their parents and educators with the use of the grounded theory approach. After collecting data through interviews and preformed data analysis, characteristics of play children in need of special support display together with the factors that affect play positively or negatively emerged. Factors were found to affect children’s play directly or indirectly. The most outstanding facilitators for children’s play were found to be the parents’ and educators’ actions and attitudes regarding the importance of play. The most substantial barriers were found to lie in the children’s characteristics concerning play which were tended to be perceived as consequences of their difficulties and diagnosis-based educational and social systems. Furthermore, the schooling system forcing ECEC institutions to focus on early preparedness for academic success, putting play aside emerged as a notable barrier for the play.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 46
Keywords [en]
ECEC, Croatia, Play, Children in need of special support, Parents, Educators, Play facilitators, Play barriers, Grounded theory
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-40784ISRN: JU-HLK-SBU-2-20180044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-40784DiVA, id: diva2:1223444
Subject / course
HLK, Child Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-26 Created: 2018-06-25 Last updated: 2018-06-26Bibliographically approved

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