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The space of play in the pre-school and school contexts of children four to six years in Brazil and Portugal

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Thaís Oliveira de Souza
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Assis. 2018-01-24.
Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências e Letras. Assis
Defense date:
Advisor: Elizabeth Piemonte Constantino

The main objective of this study was to investigate how the play are produced in the pre-school and the school contexts, in Brazil and Portugal, considering the institutional conditions and the forms of playing of children from four up to six years, as well as the role of the school mediation in this process. For this goal, we describe the physical and material resources available for play and the space-time organization of play in the institutions; we identify and analyze the kind of play developed in the different contexts and how the observed children conceive the activities of the play. In order to carry out such research, we chose the qualitative methodology based on the Socio-historical Theory, which considering the cultural development as a living process. The field research was developed in two Brazilian institutions and one Portuguese institution, in the pre-school and the first year of Elementary School. The procedure followed three stages: a) a semi-structured individual interview with the directors of the institution, in order to characterize it; b) participant observations of the plays, using a script and filling outobservation cards, here all the contact with the group of children was registered in field diaries; c) semi-structured interviews with the children, in order to complement the observation data and to gather information about the games and preferences. In investigating the place of play in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, after the Law No. 11.274 / 06 in Brazil, we found that there are variations in playing time between the schools and the surveyed groups in both countries, which shows that the time is determined both by the management team and by each educator. The main results indicated that, in Brazil, pre-school children play more in the classroom on times determined by the educators. Many plays are chosen and controlled by the teachers. In Portugal, pre-school children have more freedom to choose what they want to play in the classroom, being the make-believe play more usual, since the room itself has an area for the role-playing. For the first year of Elementary School, in both countries, play was restricted to the interval period and did not count with the organization and participation of the adult. In what regarding the kinds and contents of play, there were no observable differences between the two countries, which can be explained by the constant cultural exchange between Brazil and Portugal. In both countries we find activities focused on literacy. In pre-schools many activities had the goal of transmitting contents, being obligatory and generating evaluations. We believe that the role of the educator in relation to play should be of mediator, in the sense of providing various experiences, creating enriching situations and bringing new elements to the games, in order to make them compatible with the interests and potential of the children, advancing the level of its development. Once the school is the place where children spend a considerable time of their lives and a lot of transformations in society have diminished the play spaces, the educator must ensure the time and the space of play. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/23046-6 - The Take Care and the Educating: resizing the place of the plays in the school context with children from four to six years
Grantee:Thaís Oliveira de Souza
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate