Evaluating the benefits of the Aistear curriculum on the social interactions of junior infant children

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Authors
Murphy, Louise
Issue Date
2016
Degree
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefits of the Aistear Curriculum, a play-based learning curriculum, on the social interactions of Junior Infant children. The study utilised a quasi-experimental, repeated measures design which sought quantitative data using natural observations of children in a school implementing the Aistear Curriculum, in comparison with a control group. The Play Observation Scale (2001) was used to measure children’s social behaviours under the headings of solitary play, parallel play, non-play, group play and peer-conversation. It was hypothesised that implementation of the Aistear Curriculum would decrease solitary play, parallel play and non-play behaviours, and increase group play and peer-conversation. Results were significant for a reduction in solitary play, parallel play and non-play behaviours, but not for an increase in group play and peer conversation. Although significant results were found for an increase in group dramatic play in particular. However, tests which compared the results with a control group could not eliminate the possibility of maturation effects. Author keywords: Aistear, Junior Infants, play-based learning, primary school, social interactions
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