Balancing Play-Based Learning With Curricular Mandates: Considering the Views of Northern Canadian Teachers and Early Childhood Educators

  • Shelley Stagg Peterson Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
  • Donna Forsyth Brandon University
  • Laureen J. McIntyre University of Saskatchewan

Abstract

We discuss early childhood educators’ perceptions of what constitutes play, the contributions of play to children’s learning, tensions arising from and principles guiding their use of play in their teaching contexts. Participants, who are primary teachers, early childhood educators, administrators and consultants working in northern communities in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, voiced their views in interviews. Their views are discussed in terms of curriculum expectations relating to play in curriculum documents and the theories and findings within the play research literature.

Author Biographies

Shelley Stagg Peterson, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
A former rural Alberta primary teacher, Shelley Stagg Peterson is a professor in literacy education in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Email: shelleystagg. peterson@utoronto.ca
Donna Forsyth, Brandon University
Donna Forsyth spent 16 years teaching in northern Manitoba during 30 years of experience as a teacher and consultant within the provincial public school system. She is currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Brandon University.
Laureen J. McIntyre, University of Saskatchewan
Laureen J. McIntyre is an American and Canadian certified speech-language pathologist who is currently an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education at the University of Saskatchewan.
Published
2015-12-30