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Field Report on the development of children's playground behaviour, based upon the observation of nursery and primary school children.
Note: To protect the identity of the children observed and mentioned in this report, their names have been changed.
Much research has been done into children's play behaviour. Theories and models have been proposed detailing the phases and stages through which a child will develop. These phases lie along a linear plane with each child advancing through them showing different traits along differing timescales. Piaget (1951) described a developmental sequence from practice play through symbolic play, to games with rules acknowledging that these stages were overlapping. There have also been numerous attempts to try and define the characteristics of play; of which a concise definition seems almost impossible, with each party placing it emphasis on different criteria that encompass playful behaviour. (Smith et al.,1998). For the purpose of my observation I shall define play as being physically active behaviour with no external goal present, they are not doing the activity for any reason other than self-pleasure. If a goal becomes applicable then play ceases.
The purpose of this report is to see how these theories and models correlate to my cross sectional observations of nursery and primary school age children (3-11) in visits within Loughborough and also to my work at a Junior Boys School (grade K-7, age 4-12) in Victoria, BC. Canada.
Two separate visits were made firstly to the on campus nursery (ages 3-4), then to Thorpe Acre Junior School (key stage 1, ages 4-9). Due to the differing observation requirements, prior to each visit I prepared separate observation protocols (annex 1).
My initial impression of Peter on being introduced to him was that he was of about average size compared to the other boys in the group. Squatting down to his level I introduced myself. At first he seemed shy but at the same time very curious of his new 'friend'. I initiated conversation relating to the upcoming activity session whilst waiting for the rest of the group to be assigned to the remaining students. He soon lost his shyness and a proceeded to inform me what 'he' was going to do in the session. On the walk from the nursery to the gym there was quite a variation in the children's moods. Some were very shy and unsure of their guides others were very chatty and interacted a lot more. Peter seemed to be very aware of his surroundings, vigorously checking roads that we crossed and pointing out anything he spotted, birds on the grass, large lorries etc. What became evident from Peter and some of the other nursery children was their use of humour in their language play, with rhymes, repetition and wordplay variations of well known verses very common (smith et al 1998).
By the time children have reached this nursery age they have alread
Sports mentioned in this term paper
Names mentioned in this term paper
Peter, Smith, Matheson, Waldrop, Blades, Loughborough, Hartup, Harcourt Brace, M. Hersen, Hove, Bee, Harris M., Bee H., Hartup W.W., Harper Collins, Haverson,
Organizations referenced in this research material
Junior Boys School, Nursery School,
Locations mentioned in this report
Canada, New York,
Companies talked about in this research paper
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,
Keywords included in this research paper
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