Supporting children s play in Early Childhood Education and Care ECEC

Name of applicant

Ditte Winther-Lindqvist


Aarhus University


DKK 178,700



Type of grant

Field Trips / Research Stays >100,000


My project is about exchanging experiences around how to support children's play in Early childhood education and care (ECEC). In Victoria, Australia, the scholars I am visiting have developed a method of supporting childrens play pedagogically,and it is called "conceptual playworld" and they are currently evaluating this evidence based method in order to see how it works and enables children to become skilled players. We are going to analyse their data and learn from them in terms of what works well and what does not seem to work well when the aim is to support 3-6 year old childrens learning and development through play in institutional contexts. I will also inspire my Australian colleagues with regards to how we work to suppert children's play in Danish ECEC.


Contrarily to what one might expect, it is difficult to provide rich and stimulating environments for play that all children benefit from. The adult role in stimulating play and supporting children with difficulties in becoming skilful players is complex and requires pedagogical mastery and skilful planning and methodology. Play happens, and some adults are skillful players, however if we want to build a curriculum around children's play we need to make sure that all educators are skillful players who can enable children's play also when it does not happen, and when some children are excluded and kept out of the creative circles of play in the peer-group. This requires scientifically based knowledge and solid pedagogical methods that we are going to develop in the project.


I arrive at a good time in the project in Victoria, Australia where the research group is collecting data on the merits and pitfalls of the conceptual playworld method. We will analyse this data together and write up the findings to the scientific community. upon my return to DK I'll make use of our experiences from this project in developing and evaluation danish pedagogical pracitices around supporting childrens play in ECEC.

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