Pedagogical provocations, play and policy

Year: 2015

Author: Grieshaber, Sue

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Recent curriculum frameworks in countries such as Australia, England, Hong Kong and Singapore can produce tensions for practitioners and researchers because of the ways in which relationships between play and pedagogy are framed. Policy documents that identify outcomes can limit how child-initiated play occurs and inadvertently impose orderly and predictable processes that are aimed at stable and knowable outputs/outcomes. Achieving a balance between child-initiated play and intentional teaching to realise outcomes can be challenging, as child-initiated play privileges change over pre-planning, evolution over equilibrium, and complexity over predictability. Dealing with diverse creations that often characterise child-initiated play can mean that such play is unrecognised or discouraged because of increasing schoolification, time limitations, and the unpredictable nature of such play. In this presentation I provide some pedagogical provocations about play related to digital devices, media, popular culture, wild play, and play that marginalises and excludes with the intent of stimulating thought about possibilities for child-initiated play that avoids complexity reduction which can be brought about by policy frameworks and their requirements.