Fabritius, Colleen M.
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SubjectOutdoor recreation for children.; Teaching -- Methodology.; Preschool teachers -- Training of; Preschool teachers -- Activity programs.
This study examined teacher’s perceptions on the importance of outdoor play in early childhood classrooms. The purpose of the study was to investigate how local Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten educators felt about the amount of outdoor play available within their classroom as well as how they feel outdoor play affected their classrooms. This study aimed to answer the question what are preschool and kindergarten teacher’s perspectives on the impact of outdoor play or lack thereof in early childhood settings? Fifteen Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten teachers from five local elementary schools participated in this qualitative phenomenology study. Data was collected through a survey and a semi-structured interview. Findings revealed that educators were frustrated by the lack of outdoor play in the curriculum and the new emphasis placed on Common Core Standards. These educators felt that outdoor play offered numerous benefits and learning opportunities for young children; however, they could not provide such learning experiences due to the implementation of the Common Core Standards. Furthermore, educators believed a mixture of developmentally appropriate didactic teaching and outdoor play would best benefit children. Thus future research should investigate how the use of a mixture of didactic style teaching and outdoor play would impact young children’s learning.
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