99 ERC SES 04 J, Teacher Education Research
This study aims to find a relationship between pre-service teachers' playfulness skills and attitudes towards educational play. This study also examines the extent to which pre-service teachers' demographic traits affect their playfulness and attitudes towards educational play.
This study will focus on the following research questions.
- To what extent there is a relationship between pre-service teachers' attitudes toward educational play and their playfulness traits?
- To what extent pre-service teachers' demographic characteristics (department, class, sex) affect their attitudes and playfulness (entertainment tendencies) towards educational games?
- Do females and males have different attitudes toward educational play?
- Do females pre-service teachers' playfulness traits better than males?
- To what degree participants' demographics affect their playfulness and attitudes towards educational play?
Significance of the Study
Although the play has been studied for many years by researchers, educationists, and philosophers, it does not have an exact definition because of its complexity and ambiguousness (Johnson, Christie & Yawkey, 1998). Play is generally thought of within childhood because it is not 'serious' enough as adult activities (Bateson, Gordon-Bateson & Martin, 2013). Individuals sometimes tend to play intrinsically or behave spontaneously, and this is attributed to their characteristics. Lieberman (1965) explained this situation as playfulness characteristics. Similarly, Barnett (1991) described playfulness as one of the personality characteristics. Consequently, play is a kind of behavior, while playfulness is a personal trait that comes from instinct. Adult playfulness was studied with many studies related to spontaneity, divergent thinking, creativity, personality, and psychological health (Canaslan, 2018). Therefore, playfulness is a significant trait for adults as much as children.
The playfulness of teachers has a vital role in education. Play provides pleasure, enjoyment, and freedom to children while offering educational benefits. However, when its educational purpose comes to the forefront rather than fun, it might be boring for children. At this point, the teacher's playfulness skills gain importance (Zembat & Yılmaz, 2020). Moreover, the teacher's playful traits empower teacher-student communication and children's development through smooth learning processes (Bae, 2012). The playfulness of teachers also has an impact on children's play and playfulness. It was found there is a correlation between the teachers' playfulness and children's playfulness (Pinchover, 2017). In 1989, Graham, Sawyers, and DeBoard studied with pre-service and in-service teachers to investigate their playfulness. According to the study results, while pre-service teachers are more playful, in-service teachers are more structured.
The educational play is a teaching method that promotes child development and results in learning in a funny way (Güler, 2011). Studies show that most teachers have positive attitudes toward play and play in education. However, their perceptions differ educational levels from the first year to the last year of college. According to the study on candidate teachers' opinions about the role of play in education, their thoughts change from freshmen year to senior year (Jung & Jin, 2014).
Regarding brief literature as mentioned above, studies about children's playfulness assert the importance of teachers' playfulness, while teachers' playfulness change over professional years inversely (Pinchover, 2017; Graham, Sawyers & DeBoard, 1989). Also, playful teachers tend to use play-based education and educational games frequently. Hence, teacher's playfulness has impact on children's educational development. For this reason, teachers' playfulness and tendency to use educational games needed to be examined to contribute to children's education (Howard, Jenvey & Hill, 2006). Educational play and teacher's (pre-service and in-service) beliefs about play and their playfulness traits might be related to each other and worthy to study. To provide a comprehensive framework, pre-service teacher's playfulness and attitudes toward educational play and effects of their demographic features will be investigated in this study
Design of the study Ethical committee approval was taken from Human Subjects Ethics Committee (HSEC) of Middle East Technical University. Besides, necessary permissions were obtained from researchers who developed instruments and adapted them into Turkey. In this study, quantitative research methods will be used. Firstly, correlational research will measure the relationship between two variables (playfulness traits and attitudes towards educational games). Afterward, a causal-comparative study will be used to analyze the effects of demographic features on data gathered from ASFEG and APTS. This research method is appropriate because the groups regarding sex, department, and years of studying have already existed (Fraenkel, Wallen & Hyun, 2012). Sample Four hundred fifty pre-service teachers studying four different departments in the faculty of education are randomly selected. Participants are undergraduate students, including freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year. Their departments are selected as Early Childhood Education, Elementary School Education, Computer Education and Instructional Technology (CEIT), and Elementary Mathematics Education to gather various data. Moreover, participants are selected from Kastamonu University, Kastamonu, Turkey, and Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Data Collection Tool The informed consent form and two scales are used in the data collection process. The first one is the Adult Playfulness Trait Scale (APTS), which is developed initially by Shen, Chick, and Zinn (2014) and then adapted to Turkish culture by Yurt, Keleş, and Koğar (2016). It includes 19 items with a five-point Likert scale to measure adults' playfulness traits under three subscales. These are Fun Seeking Motivation, Uninhibitedness, and Spontaneity. Moreover, the validity and reliability of APTS were found high level. Another scale is the Attitude Scale for Educational Games (ASFEG), developed by Altuner-Çoban, Bozkurt, and Kan (2019). It consists of 20 items with a five-point Likert scale, and they measure candidate teachers' attitudes towards educational games. The validity and reliability of ASFEG were also tested. Analysis of data After data collection, the SPSS program will test the correlation between the variables of two scales (APTS and ASFEG) with the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (PPMCC). Furthermore, participants' demographics will be compared with a causal-comparative study design. Graphs and tables will be used to display the results of the study.
According to the literature review, there is a limited study of pre-service teachers' playfulness. Therefore, this study is expected to contribute to the literature with significant results. To the authors knowledge, there is no study that investigates the relationship between pre-service teacher's playfulness skills and attitudes towards educational play. It is also expected that this study provides significant contribution regarding playfulness and educational play literature. To conclude, the study aims to reach significant results regarding research questions.
Altuner-Çoban, G.Ş., Bozkurt, E., Kan, A. (2019). The development of an Attitude Scale for Educational Games: The study of validity and reliability. Turkish Studies Educational Sciences, 14(3), 287-302. doi: 10.29228/TurkishStudies.22798 Bae, B. (2012). Children and teachers as partners in communication: Focus on spacious and narrow interactional patterns. International Journal of Early Childhood, 44(1), 53-69. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13158-012-0052-3 Barnett, L. A. (1991). The playful child: Measurement of a disposition to play. Play and Culture, 4(1), 51-74. Bateson, P., Bateson, P. P. G., & Martin, P. (2013). Play, playfulness, creativity, and innovation. Cambridge University Press. Canaslan, B. (2018). Early childhood in-service teachers' playfulness traits and views on playfulness (Master's thesis, METU). Fraenkel, J. R., Wallen, N. E., & Hyun, H. H. (2012). How to design and evaluate research in education (8th ed.). New York: Mc Graw Hill. Graham, B. C., Sawyers, J. K., & DeBord, K. B. (1989). Teachers' creativity, playfulness, and style of interaction with children. Creat. Res. J. 2, 41–50. doi: 10.1080/10400418909534299 Howard, J., Jenvey, V., & Hill, C. (2006). Children's categorisation of play and learning based on social context. Early Child Development and Care, 176(3-4), 379–393. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430500063804 Johnson, J. E., Christie, J. F., & Yawkey, T. D. (1998). Play and early childhood development (2nd ed.). Addison Wesley Longman. Jung, E., and Jin, B. (2015). College coursework on children's play and future early childhood educators' intended practices: the mediating influence of perceptions of play. Early Child. Educ. J. 43, 299–306. doi:10.1007/s10643-014- 0658-1 Pinchover, S. (2017). The relation between teachers' and children's playfulness: A pilot study. Front. Psychol., 8, 2214. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02214 Shen, X. S., Chick, G. & Zinn, H. (2014b). Validating the Adult Playfulness Trait Scale (APTS): An examination of personality, behavior, attitude, and perception in the nomological network of playfulness. American Journal of Play, 6(3), 345-369. Yurt, Ö., Keleş, S., & Koğar, H. Examination of psychometric properties of the Turkish form of adult playfulness trait scale-APTS. International Journal of Human Sciences, 13(1), 650-662. Zembat, R., & Yılmaz, H. (2020). Okul öncesi dönem çocuklarının oynama eğilimlerinin öğretmenlerinin eğlence eğilimleri ve çeşitli değişkenler açısından değerlendirilmesi. Erzincan Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 22(2), 431-446.
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