Free play in early childhood education: a phenomenological study

Aras S.

EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND CARE, vol.186, no.7, pp.1173-1184, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 186 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03004430.2015.1083558
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1173-1184
  • Keywords: early childhood teachers, play, involvement, perceptions of teachers, implementations of teachers
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


It is aimed to investigate perceptions and implementations of early childhood teachers on free play and their involvement in children's free play. Recent studies focused on that, although there is an increase in the amount of teacher involvement, the quality of this involvement should be clearly examined. Lev Vygotsky examined play as an opportunity providing a context for socially assisted learning, a key role in abstract thinking, and a tool promoting development and learning. Teachers' involvement is considered as an important factor for the relationship between play and developmental outcomes. This phenomenological study used interview and observation. Results indicate that teachers respect the children's play. However, they get involved in when children have problems and need help. They use free playtime to complete their daily plans and take attendance.