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Research paradigm

Discuss About The Descriptive Exploration Of Play Environments.

Sandboxes, loose parts, and playground equipment: a vivid exploration of outdoor play environment was a study that that was carried out by a group of researchers to examine the importance of the outdoor plays to the growth and development of children. The study was aimed at identifying the advantages of outdoor games over the indoor games. It was also carried out to examine the required safety standards of a playground to avoid accidents during the physical activities (Van Cauwenberg, et al. 2018, p. 7). The space of the stadium was also involved in the study. It was also aimed at coming up with the safety standards of the play equipment such as loose parts, sandboxes, toys among others. 

  • Why teachers and guardians should first know child development stages and how children should be handled at different stages.
  • The benefits of physical activities and plays in child development and care.
  • The safety standards and guidelines for safe play environment and equipment (SANDRA MCCLINTIC AND KAREN PETTY, 2015, p. 27)

Research paradigm:

Qualitative research was carried out to come up with a precise knowledge on the different stages of development and how each step should be handled according to during the outdoor plays activity, the health and intellectual benefits of the outdoor plays to children and the safety standards of both the playgrounds and the play equipment. It was aimed at educating teachers and guardians on how to handle children at different stages to improve their health status and improve their academic performance (SANDRA MCCLINTIC AND KAREN PETTY, 2015, p. 14).  

Methodology used:

Different techniques of research, conceptual and the qualitative research methods were carried out to examine and collect sufficient data to aid in coming up with intensive report and evidence on the subject matter (Heather Olsen & Brandy Smith, 2017, p. 4).

Collection methods

Different methods of research used included face-to-face psychologist and child specialist interviews, reading class work, an observation which involved comparing children who have been brought up in different environments. Indoor and outdoor environments, reading child specialist journal writings and also collecting data from the hospital data provided by the specialist (Fathi M. Ihmeideh & Ibrahim A. Al-Qaryouti, 2015, p 4).

A group of six students was involved in researching childhood development and care. One psychologist and one child specialist were interviewed on the benefits of the outdoor exercises over the indoor plays. The students managed to visit different homesteads and interviewed the parents on the environment they have brought up their children in, whether outdoor or indoor. The students read different journals to get more knowledge of the safety standards of the playgrounds and play equipment. The student participants included three ladies and three gents.

Methodology used

Major findings

 The key findings that were identified included; different stages of development and how children should be handled at various stages, the healthy, physical, social and mental benefits of the outdoor plays to children and the standards of the playgrounds and equipment to avoid accidents and communicable diseases among the children (Fathi M. Ihmeideh & Ibrahim A. Al-Qaryouti, 2015, p. 9).

Identified limitations:

Due to lack of knowledge and the ignorance of the teachers, parents, and guardians, it was determined that children are given a lot of freedom to participate in indoor plays such as watching cartoons, movies, internet games among others. Due to the insecurity of some places, children are limited from participating in outdoor matches. It was also found that the school's playgrounds were not spacious and they didn't reach the required standards of safety (Heather Olsen & Brandy Smith, 2017, p. 6).

Implication for practice

The research findings concluded that most teachers and guardians lack knowledge on social, health, physical and mental benefits of the outdoor plays to children. Guardians and teachers should be educated on the importance of the outdoor games to children. It was also stated that the structures of the school playgrounds don't motivate children to motivate in participating in outdoor activities (Zevenbergen, et al. 2018, p. 40). The government should come up with a standard playground structure that should be followed by all the schools. Also, teachers should engage in outdoor plays to motivate the children.

Part B: Critical evaluation

This study was conducted by a group of six students whereby they involved a psychologist, a child specialist parents and also clinical officers who gave them medical data of the children brought up in different environments. These research techniques were carried out to come up with a clear and precise report which has satisfied evidence on the benefits of the outdoor plays to the children. The case study was used as an excellent platform for coming out with good ideas on different stages of childhood development and how children should be handled at various stages. Precise information on these stages was obtained by interviewing the child specialist and also reading his journal (Solan, 2018, p. 6).

According to this research, different stages of development were identified following the psycho-genetic model of construction whereby the steps included the oral stage, anal stage, phallic stage, latency stage and genital care. Different methods for handling children at each stage were proposed. The effects of each technique on social, physical, mental and emotions were openly discussed. It was suggested reported that the methods used to handle each stage can affect the personality and the self-esteem of a child. Proper handling and care can boost the character, health, physical and social life of the future lifespan of the child (Egert, et al. 2018, p. 54).

Collection methods


The case study came up with precise information about the benefits of the outdoor plays over the indoor game. The study found that the outdoor environment can accommodate various types of the game. Sandboxes, balls, toys, loose parts among other playground equipment were included during the study. It was found that outdoor environment abundantly supported the development of the children and their characters in expected lifespan. It was argued that academics should be balanced with the outdoor activities (Heather Olsen & Brandy Smith, 2017, p. 13).

Research shows that children who are involved much more in physical activities stand high chances to develop physically healthy, socially, intellectually and emotionally. Outdoor plays have positive effects on children health like reducing childhood obesity and overweight, reducing stress, boosting child immunity among others. Playing with toys and also with their, age mates is known to aid in brain development of a child. Plays make children creative as they have to think and come up with a game. Games are also known to improve vision in children. Some of the plays that kids are engaged in involve observing, and through these, their image is sharpened (SANDRA MCCLINTIC AND KAREN PETTY, 2015, p. 56).

According to the report, the study was carried out to investigate the outdoor environment to examine whether S.A.F.E model of the playground is available and the quality and the quality of the play environment. The variety of the playgrounds either enhances or eliminates the playfulness, of children. The national program for playgrounds safety (NPPS), established a framework of standard playgrounds for childhood to ensure safety and enhance the morale of playing. Outdoor plays tend to improve the self-esteem of a child and also his/her personality. Outdoor games also strengthen the ability of a child to communicate and express his/herself well. It also instills self-confidence in children (Rotter, et al. 2018, p. 6).  

To ensure safety during the plays, they proposed that the playgrounds should be designed according to the age and the sex of children. They should be constructed using the appropriate materials and equipment to avoid falls, injuries among other accidents. Playing equipment should have smooth edges to prevent cuts. They should be cleaned regularly to avoid harboring dirt and germs. Playgrounds should be constructed away from the busy roads, and they should be fenced to ensure security. Playgrounds should be from stones, broken bottles, holes among other things that can cause injuries (Bergin, & Bergin, 2018, p, 34).

Study location and participants

In summary parents, guardians and teachers should be made aware of the benefits of the outdoor plays during the childhood development. They should be equipped with the knowledge on the stages of the child development and how children should be handled during these stages. Playgrounds and play equipment should always be in good conditions for the safety of the children. Guardians and teachers should sometimes take part in the plays to motivate the children. They should also ensure the security of the children during the outdoor games. Sometimes teachers should teach new concepts in the outdoor environment through demonstrations and involve the children's participation.  

Exploring early childhood teachers and beliefs and practices about the preschool outdoor play: A qualitative study

The Exploring old childhood teacher's beliefs and practices about the preschool outdoor game: a qualitative study (McClintic & Petty, 2015, p. 18), was a study that was carried out to examine the effects of the beliefs that teachers have on the pre-school outdoor playgrounds.

  • A qualitative study was carried out to gather data by using various technique methodologies. Several sources of data were used by the researchers to reveal the facts and the evidence concerning the subject matter (SANDRA MCCLINTIC AND KAREN PETTY, 2015, p. 4).

A mixed method and various data sources were used to come up with precise information and gather the belief and the views of the teachers on the qualitative case study.

Collection methods:

The qualitative collection of the data involved interviewing the teacher face-to-face, reading different teachers’ journals, being engaged in carrying out the outdoor activities with the pre-school children (Heather Olsen & Brandy Smith, 2017, p 8).

A group of six students was involved in carrying out the case study. Among the six students were three ladies and three gents. They included two pre-school teachers and the children in carrying out the research. The two pre-school teachers involved had seven years of experience in their field. The children involved in the case study had a range of between two to six years of age (Fathi, et al. 2015, p. 17).

Major findings:

The results of the qualitative study show the importance of the outdoor play over the indoor games, the importance of the supervision of the children by their teachers during their game and the beliefs of the teachers towards the outdoor sports. The qualitative research also identified the limitations of the outdoor plays.

Identified limitations:

The research study was faced with many challenges which involved: language barrier between the researchers and the children, limited space for the outdoor activities, limited time for the teachers to prepare for the outdoor activities. These limitations were brought about by the ignorance of the teachers and the management and also lack of enough funds to extend and equip the playgrounds for the children.

Major findings

Implications for practice:

  • The research findings suggested that the management and stakeholders should fund for the extension and equipping of the playgrounds to be able to accommodate all the plays. Awareness should be created by the teachers on the benefits of the outdoor games and their impacts towards the growth and the development of the children. Schools should schedule time for the outdoor plays, and also some of the topics should be taught using free demonstration for the children to understand well (SANDRA MCCLINTIC AND KAREN PETTY, 2015, p. 76).

Part B: Critical Evaluation

The qualitative research various sources to come up with reliable facts and evidence concerning the beliefs of teachers on the outdoor activities. Researchers based their study on the teachers' beliefs and their view regarding the outdoor plays. They used mixed methods and different sources of data to come up with precise information. They interviewed the teachers, and they also involved themselves in plays with the children whereby they compared the ability of the children to understand a new concept in class and outdoor. They went ahead and read some teachers' journals to collect adequate information and the facts (Freud, 2018, p. 57).

They concluded that a child tends to understand best the concept that is taught using demonstrations that the one taught through explanation. They encouraged the teachers to explain new concepts using presentations done outdoor to enhance the understanding capacity of the children. It is believed that children don't forget easily the idea taught through visual demonstration and participation than the one explained through listening and writing. Due to the minimum space for the outdoor plays, it is advisable for the schools to expand their playgrounds to create more space for various outdoor activities (Sandseter, & Lysklett, 2018, p 34).

The researchers recommended that the outdoor plays should be highly valued compared to the indoor games. This is because the indoor games and activities affect the children socially, physically, mentally and also affects the health and the intelligence of the children. They highlighted some of the disadvantages of the indoor activities which affect the children profoundly. According to their research; children tend to enjoy much, and they don't forget quickly. It is also believed that in outdoor activities children require less supervision compared to the indoor events. In outdoor learning children can work out a large scale with collaboration without getting tired. The full range outdoor activities make it easy and enjoyable for the children to cooperate and understand much compared to indoor learning. They stated that its hard for a child to forget whatever he/she learned through experience during his/her young age (Heikka et al.2018, p. 20).

They also concluded that indoor games disadvantaged the children most and they gave the following facts: Indoor games are likely to bring many health complications as compared to the outdoor games which promote health. Children who spend most of their time indoors watching cartoons and movies are most likely to suffer from diseases. Their immune system tends to be weak hence cannot fight against diseases. The lack of vitamin D which is usually obtained from the sun, therefore, they tend to have weak bones, falling teeth and sometimes rickets. Vitamin D from the sun is essential for the formation of healthy bones (SANDRA MCCLINTIC AND KAREN PETTY, 2015, p 78). They are most likely to develop heart disease problems because they are confined to one play, and they are inactive.

Identified limitations

Indoor games can make a child obese or overweight. This is because the child is inactive meaning that calories are not broken down to produce energy hence they accumulate in the body. Increase in the number of calories in the body may clog the blood vessels and may increase the chances of being affected by the blood pressure. Also, it may affect the cognitive development of a child. The child depends much on watching, and he/she is not involved in thinking to come up with a new idea. This lowers the creativity of the child even in class work. It doesn't promote the intelligence of a child (Howard et al. 2005, p. 76).

Indoor games limit the child from growing socially. The child is most a times confined to the house, and he/she lacks the company of the age mates. The child will require the skills of working in unity with others and the ability to socialize well with others. The child won't be developing excellent communication skills, problem-solving, creative thinking, and also being assertive. The child will also lack self-confidence and the ability to express his/herself. The child will be affected by stress since indoor plays don't relieve stress. A child who is confined indoors lacks exposure of what happens in their culture. In outdoor games, children formulate and come up with plays related to their cultural activities (McElroy et al. 2018, p. 5).

Children who play the outdoor games tend to gain more skills which teach them and equip them with skills for future. They always formulate plays and games which will help them explore the world around them. Some of the games teach them the responsibility of each member of the family. This equips them with skills on how family issues are handled. They also gain knowledge on how to handle conflicts in their future life. In outdoor plays, children learn self-advocacy skills; they can share, negotiate over a particular issue and resolve them. The outdoor games make them aware of the challenges in life, and they acquire skills on how to handle those challenges (Mathee et al. 2018, p. 90).

In summary, parents, educators, and guardians should provide a safe playground for the children. They should also teach the children new plays to sharpen their minds like games that involve counting. They should also participate in sports with the children to give them morale to continue playing. Variety of the play equipment should be provided. Educators and parents should know that these play equipment are safe for the play. Children should also be given opportunities to mess in their, and they should be corrected in love to avoid interfering with their personality, self-confidence, and self-estee,

Implication for practice

References

Albin-Clark, J., Shirley, I., Webster, M., & Woolhouse, C. (2018). Relationships in early childhood education–beyond the professional into the personal within the teacher-child dyad: relationships ‘that ripple in the pond.' Early Child Development and Care, 188(2), 88-101.

Bergin, C. C., & Bergin, D. A. (2018). Child and Adolescent Development in Your Classroom, Chronological Approach. Cengage Learning.

Bompa, T. O., & Buzzichelli, C. (2018). Periodization-: theory and methodology of training. Human Kinetics.

Egert, F., Fukkink, R. G., & Eckhardt, A. G. (2018). Impact of In-Service Professional Development Programs for Early Childhood Teachers on Quality Ratings and Child Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 0034654317751918.

Garde, A., Chowdhury, M., Rollinson, A. U., Johnson, M., Prescod, P., Chanoine, J. P., ... & Dumont, G. A. (2018). A Multi-Week Assessment of a Mobile Exergame Intervention in an Elementary School. Games for health journal, 7(1), 43-50.

Heikka, J., Halttunen, L., & Waniganayake, M. (2018). Perceptions of early childhood education professionals on teacher leadership in Finland. Old Child Development and Care, 188(2), 143-156.

Howard, A. W., MacArthur, C., Willan, A., Rothman, L., Moses-McKeag, A., & MacPherson, A. K. (2005). The effect of safer play equipment on playground injury rates among school children. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 172(11), 1443-1446.

Mathee, A., Barnes, B., Naidoo, S., Swart, A., & Rother, H. A. (2018). Development for children's environmental health in South Africa: Past gains and future opportunities. Development Southern Africa, 1-11.

McElroy, E., Belsky, J., Carragher, N., Fearon, R. M. P., & Patalay, P. (2018). Developmental stability of general and specific factors of psychopathology from early childhood through adolescence: Dynamic mutualism or p-differentiation?. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Mitáš, J., Sas-Nowosielski, K., Groffik, D., & Frömel, K. (2018). The safety of the neighborhood environment and physical activity in Czech and Polish adolescents. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(1), 126.

Mott, A., Rolfe, K., James, R., Evans, R., Kemp, A., Dunstan, F., ... & Sibert, J. (1997). Safety of surfaces and equipment for children in playgrounds. The Lancet, 349(9069), 1874-1876.

Roe, J., & Roe, A. (2018). Restorative Environments and Promoting Physical Activity Among Older People. In The Palgrave Handbook of Ageing and Physical Activity Promotion (pp. 485-505). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Rotter, M., Amato, K., & Nigg, C. R. (2018). Physical activity stages of change surveillance data show that the majority of Hawai ‘i's Keiki (Children) meet the guidelines. Journal of sports sciences, 36(9), 1009-1014.

Sandseter, E. B. H., & Lysklett, O. B. (2018). Outdoor education in the Nordic region. In International Handbook of Early Childhood Education (pp. 889-906). Springer, Dordrecht.

Solan, R. (2018). The Enigma of Childhood: The Profound Impact of the First Years of Life on Adults as Couples and Parents. Routledge.

Van Cauwenberg, J., Nathan, A., Barnett, A., Barnett, D. W., & Cerin, E. (2018). Relationships between neighborhood physical environmental attributes and older adults' leisure-time physical activity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 1-26.

Zevenbergen, A. A., Worth, S., Dretto, D., & Travers, K. (2018). Parents’ experiences in a home-based dialogic reading programme. Early Child Development and Care, 188(6), 862-874.

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