An exploration of pre-service teacher’s perceptions of play in the early years’ classroom

Ref: 01-2016/17-North
Name: Dr Tara Concannon-Gibney
Email Address: tara.concannongibney@mie.ie
Phone Number: 01-8057716
Institution Address: Marino Institute of Education, Dublin
Seeking a partner/s in: Northern Ireland

This study will focus on pre-service teacher’s attitudes and expectations in relation to play in junior and senior infant classes prior and subsequent to taking an Early Childhood course. During the academic course, students will have the opportunity to put theory into practice in the classroom on school placement at this class level. While one of the aims of the project will be to identify the student’s perceptions and understandings around play, we are also interested in examining the content and pedagogy of our Early Childhood course and how we are addressing students’ learning needs for the early years’ classroom. A partnership with another university would allow for fruitful discussion and exploration of the possibilities and experiences in another setting that might enhance our pre-service teacher provision while also encouraging critical reflection on both sides. In this way, this study also hopes to compare the methodological and pedagogical approaches taken by the various Higher Education Institutions who are involved in delivery of Early Childhood courses.