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Cross-cultural and cross-generational perceptions of play: informing effective early years education in diverse communities

Jerzembek, Gabrielle Sophia and Bullen, K. S. 2008. Cross-cultural and cross-generational perceptions of play: informing effective early years education in diverse communities. Presented at: BPS Annual conference, Dublin, Ireland, April 2008.

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Abstract

Play is central to children’s cognitive, emotional, social and physical development (Power, 2000). Parents’ perceptions and their consequent involvement in their children’s play vary across cultures. Such differences potentially affect Early Years service provision and evaluation: universalist approaches in diverse communities have been found to be problematic (Bernstein et al., 2005). Little previous research has focused specifically on cross-cultural differences in perceptions of play (Fogle & Mendez, 2006). The aim of this study was to identify cross-cultural differences in the perceptions of play in a low-income urban parent sample and develop a short scale for use in practice. Design: A mixed-methods cross-sectional design was employed to identify cross-cultural and cross-generational differences in the perception of play. Methods: A total of 181 parents and teenagers from Arabic, Somali, Bengali and White British backgrounds participated. Parents were recruited through Sure Start sessions in Cardiff; teenagers were recruited from a High School in Cardiff. The research took place in two phases. In phase 1 qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were analysed with content analysis (Neuendorf, 2002) and findings were used to develop a relevant questionnaire for use in practice. In phase 2, the questionnaire was piloted and subsequently used for data collection. Scale reliability was acceptable with Cronbach a=.864, N=18. Due to the small numbers of participants in the various Ethnic groups, statistical comparison was focused only on White British (WB) and Black Minority Ethnic (BME) groups. Results: Predictive factors of the frequency with which parents were involved/engaged in their children’s play differed between the two focal Ethnic groups. In the BME group, these predictors were the consideration of strict parenting being advantageous to the child and the parenting goals of respect and trouble avoidance. In the WB group, emotional bonding between parent and child and learning individually as a function of play, together with societal integration as a parenting goal and emotional means of showing affect predicted the frequency and involvement of parents in their child’s play. Conclusions: Cross-cultural differences in factors promoting parental engagement in children’s play indicate the need to adopt a more individualised approach to Early Years education in diverse communities. The short scale developed in this study was show to be reliable and potentially useful in identifying factors that promote a higher quality of play and associated better child outcomes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Cardiff Institute of Society and Health (CISHE)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:37
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/22219

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