Playful Learning Across Ireland: a student teacher intervention in Early Years Education

In an attempt to resolve some of the lingering tensions involved in implementing play as
learning in early years classrooms across the island of Ireland, a shared form of professional
development known as ‘Playful Learning’ was delivered together to a group of student
teachers in the final years of their degree programme both in Northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland. The professional development programme was two-fold: it involved a
shared programme of study on up-to-date research and practices on playful learning and
teaching and a playful learning intervention, where students, both North and South, had the
opportunity to plan and implement a series of playful learning experiences in an early years
classroom/setting of their choice. This report details the impact of such an intervention on
student teachers’ beliefs and practices about playful approaches to teaching and learning
and will attempt to unpick the underpinning features of a high quality playful learning
approach in practice.

Playful Learning Across Ireland Report