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Where do children choose to play on the school ground? The influence of green design


Lucas, AJ and Dyment, JE, Where do children choose to play on the school ground? The influence of green design, Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 38, (2) pp. 177-189. ISSN 0300-4279 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/03004270903130812


The purpose of this study was to examine where children choose to play on a school ground with a diversity of play spaces. We were particularly interested in understanding the influence of the natural/green part of the school ground on children's choice. Using a momentary time sampling direct observation instrument, a total of 23 scans were taken of six pre-determined Target Areas within an Australian primary school over an 11-day period. Separate scans were taken for girls and boys. Results revealed that the green/natural Target Area (a) attracted the highest number of students in total on average (63.78 students/scan) and (b) was the only area that revealed no statistical difference between the mean number of girls and boys. We discuss a number of design and cultural factors that might explain these findings. The results from this study suggest that when children are given a choice about where to play, they are choosing natural areas. As such, green areas of school grounds stand to make an important contribution in providing equitable, inclusive, healthy and inviting play opportunities for children.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:school ground design; green; natural elements
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dyment, JE (Associate Professor Janet Dyment)
ID Code:65238
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2010-10-20
Last Modified:2012-03-30
Downloads:18 View Download Statistics

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