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Play-based learning in an Aotearoa New Zealand classroom: Child, parent, teacher and school leader perspectives

Mandie Blucher, Karyn Aspden, and Jayne Jackson

This case study explores child, parent, teacher, and school-leader perspectives of a play-based learning (Pb-L) approach in one new-entrant classroom. Data were gathered through focus groups, interviews and an online survey. Findings indicate that children valued the opportunity for self-initiated, hands-on, interest-based exploration and social interaction with peers, as afforded in a Pb-L classroom. Parents, the teacher, and the school leader valued a Pb-L approach as contributing to child wellbeing and social and emotional development, as well as enhancing the transition experience. The study affirms the importance of shared understanding and stakeholder acceptance and offers insight into potential implications in implementing a Pb-L approach.

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