Work Hard and Play Hard: Perceptions of Play in Early Childhood Programs

Patricia White, Barbara N. Martin, Bryan McDonald


This paper explored the perceptions of principals and teachers concerning the role of play in early childhood programs during an ethos of high strakes accountability. All early childhood participants identified play as a learning tool, but noted it was being eliminated from the curriculum due to high stake accountability. Viewed differently between administrators and early childhood educators was the purpose of play. Revealed were implications for administrators, teachers, and policymakers. The implications for this research and practice include that both administration and early childhood teachers must understand the value of play and implement play within the school day.

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