Date of Award

7-11-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Ed.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Daniel, Yvette

Keywords

Early childhood education, Early years curriculum, Educators' perceptions and practices, Full-Day Early Learning - Kindergarten program, Pedagogy of play, Play-based learning

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The government of Ontario introduced the Full-Day Early Learning - Kindergarten (FDELK) program policy initiative in September 2010 in all elementary schools across the province. This study investigated early childhood educators' and kindergarten teachers' perceptions and practices of play-based learning in Ontario FDELK classrooms with particular concentration given to their interpretations of the policy, documents, and dissemination strategies. A critical analysis was conducted deconstructing play and exposing its complexity, attributed significance, and risen issues. The results of this study indicate a partition among practitioners and a policy/practice divide with compartmentalization of play and learning confounded by severable variables: localizing play, image of the child, educator's role, compound effects, and dissemination strategies. A plan of action is suggested underscoring the importance of rethinking roles and relationships amongst educators, students, and play and learning in order to sustain policy effectiveness.

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