Faculty of Education

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Gloria Quinones



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


In this unit students examine research which calls into question the taken-for-granted theories of play that have informed the work of early childhood professionals and are provided with new and different contexts to think about in relation to how play is defined and theorised. Play has been traditionally viewed as an important pedagogical approach for early childhood education in most European heritage communities. However, in recent years broader and more culturally inclusive research has been undertaken to show how play is culturally constructed. Students also consider the cultural ways in which children in contemporary society play and live in their communities. Importantly, students undertake an analysis of the contemporary theories of play, noting the research upon which particular theories are based, examining cross-cultural variations, popular culture, gendered interactions and critiquing the range of play contexts in which children find themselves today. Students are supported in their work through observing children, undertaking analyses and re-theorising play.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. understand the importance of play as a pedagogical construct
  2. critically analyse the assumptions and research base underpinning the range of theoretical perspectives of play enacted locally, nationally and internationally
  3. investigate the social construction of play in a range of cross-cultural contexts
  4. analyse the use of observations of children as a mechanism to evaluate children's play
  5. creatively explore the principles of play as a construct for learning in schools, centres and homes.


Data collection and multimedia presentation (2000 words or equivalent, 50%)
Concept diagram and action plan (2000 words or equivalent, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester/term comprising:

(a.) On-campus students

  • 2 contact hours per week

(b.) Requirements for offshore Kaplan-based students:

  • one intensive block (usually from Thursday to Sunday)
  • at least 4 hours of online study per term

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)