Play-based Learning
  • With the mandate of play-based learning in Ontario's kindergarten classrooms, teachers face the challenge of incorporating play to achieve academic curricular goals (Pyle & Bigelow, 2015).

  • Teacher perspectives of play influence the types of play facilitated in the classroom. When teachers believed that play could support academic learning, students engaged in more diverse types of play, labeled the play-based learning continuum (Pyle & Danniels, 2017).

  • Children’s views on the connectedness between play and academic learning were related to teacher presence in play and the types of play in their classrooms (Pyle & Alaca, 2018).

A Continuum of Play-based Learning: The Role of the Teacher 

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Play and Literacy
  • Our research bridged the gap between empirical research on literacy learning and classroom pedagogy by examining play-based learning and literacy instruction in kindergarten.

  • Teacher beliefs about the role of play for literacy learning reveal differences in literacy-play integration (Pyle, Prioletta, & Poliszczuk, 2018).

  • Children show higher rates of literacy behaviours in direct instruction and guided play than in free play contexts. However, teachers find implementing guided play for literacy learning challenging (Pyle, Poliszczuk, & Danniels, 2018).

Play-Literacy in Kindergarten

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Play and Assessment
  • A central challenge facing kindergarten teachers is the integration of assessment and play-based learning (Pyle & DeLuca, 2013).

  • Three different contexts for assessment (formal withdrawal; teacher-guided activities; play) were observed in kindergarten classrooms at different rates and with different academic and/or developmental learning goals (Pyle, DeLuca, Danniels, & Wickstrom, under review).

  • Digital technology has been used by teachers to improve both the efficiency of assessment and enhance student learning in the context of play (Danniels, Pyle, & DeLuca, 2019).

Constructing an Integrated Assessment Framework

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We are the Play Learning Lab, run by Dr. Angela Pyle at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.



Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

45 Walmer Road, Room 320
Toronto, ON M5R 2X2

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