The Use of Play and Inquiry in a Kindergarten Drama Centre: A Teacher’s Critical Reflection

  • Laura Hope-Southcott Lakehead University


The kindergarten drama centre is a place where children recreate familiar play scenarios, explore new ideas and feelings, and engage deeply in learning (Schwartz & Copeland, 2010). Miller and Almon (2009) suggest that play is crucial to children’s development. However, play is often contested as parents question its relevance at
school (Ashiabi, 2007) and schools focus on academic achievement
and readiness (Bodrova & Leong, 2003; Miller & Almon, 2009). This
paper explores the author’s learning through reflecting on the successes and challenges of a bakery centre created
in her kindergarten classroom. The bakery became an excellent vehicle for strengthening students’ literacy and motor skills through play, but the impact varied greatly across students in the class. Further, assessment and planning enhancements to the bakery were significantly restricted by constraints on the time and attention the author could devote to them due to the dynamic classroom environment. The bakery also led to a rethinking of the learning agenda in the classroom.

Author Biography

Laura Hope-Southcott, Lakehead University
Laura Hope-Southcott is a PhD candidate in the joint PhD in educational studies program at Lakehead University, studying reflective practice and journal writing. She is also an early years teacher with the Lakehead Board of Education in Thunder Bay, Ontario.