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Changes in Social Play Behavior as a Function of Preschool Programs

Maxine Gallander Wintre
The Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 82, No. 5 (May - Jun., 1989), pp. 294-301
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27540357
Page Count: 8
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Changes in Social Play Behavior as a Function of Preschool Programs
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Abstract

This study suggested that preschoolers' social play should be viewed as a developmentally expanding repertoire of skills and that the performance of the skills was a function of the expectations of the preschool environment. I coded the social play behavior of 54 children according to a modified version of the Parten (1932) scale for 1 week during the children's free play time in their classrooms. The children sampled were from two age groups (4-year-olds and 5-year-olds) and two different schools (an upper middle-class, suburban private school and a lower class, inner-city, public school). The finding that the social play of the children in the public school appeared to be more advanced than that of the children in the private school challenges the notion that socioeconomic status (SES) is a key variable determining differences in social play. Although both schools' programs were categorized as traditional, interview data revealed substantial differences between the schools. I proposed that subtle variables encompassed in the umbrella term "school philosophy and practice" are releated to the observed differences. observed differences.

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