CE  Vol.2 No.1 , March 2011
Teachers’ Perceptions about the Use of Play to Facilitate Development and Teach Prosocial Skills
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions about the use of play to promote social, emotional, and cognitive skills to support planning for a school program aimed at increasing inclusive play for young children. This research was inspired by Vivian Gussin Paley’s book, You Can’t Say You Can’t Play (1992). Participants included undergraduate students and graduate education students in the Teacher Education Program at a small liberal arts college, as well as practicing elementary school teachers. The results indicated that graduate students and practicing teachers had a more accurate understanding about the developmental benefits of incorporating play into the classroom and a greater willingness to embrace the “you can’t say you can’t play” rule to promote inclusive play and acceptance. Implications for designing a preventative program for inclusive play in young children are discussed.
Keywords: Children, Play, Inclusion
Cite this paper: nullHaney, M. & Bissonnette, V. (2011). Teachers’ Perceptions about the Use of Play to Facilitate Development and Teach Prosocial Skills. Creative Education, 2, 41-46. doi: 10.4236/ce.2011.21006.

[1]   [1] American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 57, 1060-1073. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.57.12.1060

[2]   Astington, J. W., & Jenkins, J. M. (1995). Theory of mind development and social understanding. Emotion, 9, 151-165. doi:10.1080/02699939508409006

[3]   Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Watson, M., & Schaps, E. (1997). Caring School Communities. Educational Psychologist, 32, 137-151. doi:10.1207/s15326985ep3203_1

[4]   Bagnato, S. J., & Yeh-Ho, H. ( 2006). High-stakes testing with preschool children: Violation of professional standards for evidence- based practice in early childhood intervention. KEDI International Journal of Educational Policy, 3, 2006.

[5]   Booher-Jennings, J. (2005). Below the bubble: 'Educational triage' and the Texas accountability system. American Educational Research Journal, 42, 231-268. doi:10.3102/00028312042002231

[6]   Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[7]   Brown, W. H., Odom, S. L., & Conroy, M. A. (2001). An intervention hierarchy for promoting young children’s peer interactions in natural environments. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 21, 162-175. doi:10.1177/027112140102100304

[8]   Buysee, V., Goldman, B. D., & Skinner, M. L. (2003). Friendship formation in inclusive early childhood classrooms: What is the teacher’s role? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18, 485-501. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2003.09.007

[9]   Casby, M. W. (2003). Developmental assessment of play: A model for early intervention. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 24, 175- 183. doi:10.1177/15257401030240040301

[10]   Connolly, J. A., & Doyle, A.-B. (1984). Relation of social fantasy to social competence in preschoolers. Developmental Psychology, 20, 797-806. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.20.5.797

[11]   Detrich, R. (1999). Increasing treatment fidelity by matching interventions to contextual variables within the educational setting. School Psychology Review, 28, 608-620.

[12]   Espelage, D. L. & Swearer, S. M. (2003). Research on school bullying and victimization: What have we learned and where do we need to go? School Psychology Review, 32, 365-383.

[13]   Frost, J. L., Wortham, S. C., & Reifel, S. (2001). Play and child development. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall.

[14]   Harrist, A. W. & Bradley, K. D. (2003). “You can’t say you can’t play”: Intervening in the process of social exclusion in the kindergarten classroom. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18, 185-205. doi:10.1016/S0885-2006(03)00024-3

[15]   Hirsch-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Berk, L. E., & Singer, D.G. (n.d.). A manifesto for playful learning in preschool: Presenting the scientific evidence. In Open Eye. Retrieved March 9, 2011, from

[16]   Gable, R. G., Henrickson, J. M., & Van Acker, R. (2001). Maintaining the integrity of FBA-based interventions in the schools. Education and Treatment of Children, 24, 248-260.

[17]   Grolnick, W. S. & Slowiaczek, M. L. (1994). Parents’ involvement in children’s schooling: A multidimensional conceptualization and motivational model. Child Development, 65, 237-252. doi:10.2307/1131378

[18]   Kerns, K. & Barth, J. M. (1995). Attachment and play: Convergence across components of parent-child relationships and their relationships to peer competence. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 12, 243-260. doi:10.1177/0265407595122006

[19]   Lindsey, E. W. & Colwell, M. J. (2003). Preschoolers’ emotional competency: Links to pretend and physical play. Child Study Journal, 33, 39-52.

[20]   McNeeley, C. A., Nonnemaker, J. M., & Blum, R. W. (2002). Promoting school connectedness: Evidence from the national longitudinal study of adolescent health. Journal of School Health, 72, 138-146. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2002.tb06533.x

[21]   Normandeau, S. & Guay, F. (1998). Preschool behavior and first-grade school achievement: The mediational role of cognitive self-control. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 111-121. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.90.1.111

[22]   Owocki, G. (1999). Literacy through play. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

[23]   Paley, V. G. (1992). You Can’t Say You Can’t Play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[24]   Rodkin, P. C., & Hodges, E. V. E. (2003). Bullies and victims in the peer ecology: Four questions for psychologists and school psychologists. School Psychology Review, 32, 384-400.

[25]   Roskos, K. & Neuman, S. B. (1998). Play as an opportunity for literacy. In O. N. Saracho and B. Spodek (Eds.). Multiple Perspectives on Play in Early Childhood Education. Albany, NY: Sate University of New York Press.

[26]   Schiffman, R. F. (2003). Mother-infant interaction in low-income families. The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 28, 246-251.

[27]   Sternberg, R. J., & Williams, W. M. (2002). Educational psychology. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

[28]   Watson, A. C., Linkie-Nixon, C., Wilson, A., & Capage, L. (1999). Social interaction skills and theory of mind in young children. Developmental Psychology, 35, 386-391. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.35.2.386

[29]   Wentzel, K. R. (1991). Social competence at school: Relation between social responsibility and academic achievement. Review of Educational Research, 61, 1-24.

[30]   Zakriski, A., Jacobs, M., & Coie, J. (1997). Coping with childhood peer rejection. In S. Wolchik & I. N. Sandler (Eds.), Handbook of children’s coping skills: Linking theory and intervention. New York: Plenum Press.