Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Early Childhood and Elementary Education
Curriculum and Instruction, PhD
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
play; literacy; educational inequity; critical literacy; play/literacy nexus; teachers' understandings of play
This study is about the inclusion of play in early childhood school settings, the contested nature of curricula that are not strictly quantifiable, and the ways that institutional inequity influences children’s access to school-based play. It is situated in a public elementary school kindergarten that centered play in the curriculum with varying degrees of support from a range of stakeholders. This ethnographic phenomenological case study depended on data collection methods of observational field notes and participant interviews, and grounded theory methods were employed for analysis. Findings were that teachers and administrators need clearer understandings of play and its integral connection to early literacy practices so they are valued and implemented in early childhood settings. Additionally, the voices of marginalized student populations and their families are excluded from institutional decision-making processes, which has the effect of silencing or controlling their participation in educational opportunities.
Andris, Jane E., "Children's play, early literacy, and educational (in)equities." (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3098.