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Australian Children’s Play in Historical Perspective: Continuity and Change on the School Playground


Darian-Smith, Kate, Australian Children's Play in Historical Perspective: Continuity and Change on the School Playground, International Journal of Play, 1, (3) pp. 264-278. ISSN 2159-4937 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/21594937.2012.739826


In the 1950s, the visiting American folklorist Dorothy Howard was the first scholar to research and analyse children’s play in Australian primary schools. Subsequent studies have since observed children’s school playground activities, documenting how their play has been influenced by such factors as bureaucratic and pedagogical practices, the impact of new technologies and demographic changes in the ethnic and cultural composition of the Australian population. In the Childhood, Tradition and Change research project conducted in 2007–2011, a multidisciplinary team of scholars collaborated to produce the first national survey of Australian children’s playlore in primary school playgrounds in the early twentyfirst century, with the aim of comparing this data with that of prior studies. This article provides an overview of the types of playground activities that were observed by the Childhood, Tradition and Change project in 19 schools across Australia. It considers some aspects of play within its historical context, with brief reference to cultural diversity, gender and the school playground environment as among the key determinants of the change and continuity that were observed in contemporary Australian children’s playlore.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:children’s play; Australian children’s play; history of play; playlore; history of Australian children and childhood; Australian primary education
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Other Studies in Human Society
Research Field:Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Other Cultural Understanding
Objective Field:Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Darian-Smith, Kate (Professor Kate Darian-Smith)
ID Code:123369
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:College Office - CALE
Deposited On:2018-01-03
Last Modified:2018-01-19

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