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Playworlds as an evidenced-based model of practice for the intentional teaching of executive functions


Fleer, M and Walker, S and White, A and Veresov, N and Duhn, I, Playworlds as an evidenced-based model of practice for the intentional teaching of executive functions, Early Years pp. 1-15. ISSN 0957-5146 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement


DOI: doi:10.1080/09575146.2020.1835830


Expectations for increased conceptual outcomes in the early childhood education sector have foregrounded a need for more evidenced-based practice in support of children's play. One such avenue for researching models of play practices that support cognitive outcomes is to study the implementation of Playworlds. Grounded in cultural-historical theory, Playworlds is a model of play pedagogy where children and educators recreate a narrative through dramatization. However, this approach has not traditionally been linked with enhanced academic outcomes. In this study, the researchers used executive functions (EFs) as a pre and post measure for studying the potential development of the learner. As a potential evidenced-based model of practice, we examined the effect of incorporating EF tasks into early childhood programs through Playworlds. Specifically, EFs were incorporated into everyday practices within eight play-based preschool programs in Victoria, Australia, through Playworlds and associated activities. Ninety-one preschool aged children (50% male, M = 54.7 months, SD = 3.94) participated. Video observations and interviews documented teaching practices related to the incorporation of EFs into play-based programs. Findings document gains in EF skills in the context of the Playworld practices. Snapshots of teaching practices provide guidelines for incorporating EFs into early childhood play-based programs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:playworlds; early childhood; intentional teaching; play; executive functions
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Early childhood education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Early childhood education
UTAS Author:Duhn, I (Professor Iris Duhn)
ID Code:153209
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2022-09-13
Last Modified:2022-11-01

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