Responsive Play: Exploring Play as Reader Response in a First Grade Classroom

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/612808
Title:
Responsive Play: Exploring Play as Reader Response in a First Grade Classroom
Author:
Flint, Tori K.
Issue Date:
2016
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Play in the school setting is a highly contested issue in today's restrictive academic environment. Although many early childhood educators advocate the use of play in their classrooms and emphasize the importance of play for children's learning and development, children beyond the preschool and kindergarten years are not often afforded opportunities to learn through play in their classrooms. This eight-month study, conducted in a first grade classroom in the outskirts of the Phoenix Metropolitan area of Arizona, analyzed young children's playful responses to literature as they read various books together in the classroom context. The purpose of this study was to develop deep understandings about the affordances of play in response to text within a first grade classroom and to investigate the ways that children utilize play to respond to literature and to construct meaning. This dissertation is informed by these guiding research questions: What are the affordances of play for responding to text in a first grade classroom? 1. What are the sociocultural resources that children use to respond to text? 2. In what ways do first graders incorporate and utilize play to make meaning with texts and each other in the classroom? In order to answer these research questions, I utilized several theoretical frameworks including: sociocultural theories of learning and literacy, the role of play and imagination in development, funds of knowledge, and reader response theories. This study was also informed by recent research findings in the areas of play and culture and play and literacy. I implemented a classroom Reading Center wherein I studied children's cooperative reading transactions and play as reader response. I collected data through classroom observations and field notes, videotaped and transcribed transactions, audiotaped and transcribed conversations and interviews, artifact collection, teacher observations of responsive play, family home visits and interviews, and the use of family story backpacks. This data, analyzed through thematic analysis, the constant comparative method, and grounded theory, revealed rich information about the ways that children utilize play to respond to literature in the classroom setting. The findings of this study provide evidence to suggest that through their play as reader response, their responsive play, children create a social space in the classroom which connects official school literacy practices and academic instruction with their social play practices. In this new space, children's play and talk take central roles in their explorations and uses of literacy. Findings further suggest that play can be seen as a generative source of academic learning, that the notion of response in research and practice be reconceived in the field to include play as a valid and valued form of reader response, and suggest that further research be conducted on children's responsive play.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
exploration; language; play; reader response; sociocultural resources; Language, Reading & Culture; early literacy
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Language, Reading & Culture
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Short, Kathy G.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleResponsive Play: Exploring Play as Reader Response in a First Grade Classroomen_US
dc.creatorFlint, Tori K.en
dc.contributor.authorFlint, Tori K.en
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractPlay in the school setting is a highly contested issue in today's restrictive academic environment. Although many early childhood educators advocate the use of play in their classrooms and emphasize the importance of play for children's learning and development, children beyond the preschool and kindergarten years are not often afforded opportunities to learn through play in their classrooms. This eight-month study, conducted in a first grade classroom in the outskirts of the Phoenix Metropolitan area of Arizona, analyzed young children's playful responses to literature as they read various books together in the classroom context. The purpose of this study was to develop deep understandings about the affordances of play in response to text within a first grade classroom and to investigate the ways that children utilize play to respond to literature and to construct meaning. This dissertation is informed by these guiding research questions: What are the affordances of play for responding to text in a first grade classroom? 1. What are the sociocultural resources that children use to respond to text? 2. In what ways do first graders incorporate and utilize play to make meaning with texts and each other in the classroom? In order to answer these research questions, I utilized several theoretical frameworks including: sociocultural theories of learning and literacy, the role of play and imagination in development, funds of knowledge, and reader response theories. This study was also informed by recent research findings in the areas of play and culture and play and literacy. I implemented a classroom Reading Center wherein I studied children's cooperative reading transactions and play as reader response. I collected data through classroom observations and field notes, videotaped and transcribed transactions, audiotaped and transcribed conversations and interviews, artifact collection, teacher observations of responsive play, family home visits and interviews, and the use of family story backpacks. This data, analyzed through thematic analysis, the constant comparative method, and grounded theory, revealed rich information about the ways that children utilize play to respond to literature in the classroom setting. The findings of this study provide evidence to suggest that through their play as reader response, their responsive play, children create a social space in the classroom which connects official school literacy practices and academic instruction with their social play practices. In this new space, children's play and talk take central roles in their explorations and uses of literacy. Findings further suggest that play can be seen as a generative source of academic learning, that the notion of response in research and practice be reconceived in the field to include play as a valid and valued form of reader response, and suggest that further research be conducted on children's responsive play.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectexplorationen
dc.subjectlanguageen
dc.subjectplayen
dc.subjectreader responseen
dc.subjectsociocultural resourcesen
dc.subjectLanguage, Reading & Cultureen
dc.subjectearly literacyen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading & Cultureen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorShort, Kathy G.en
dc.contributor.committeememberDaSilva Iddings, Ana Christinaen
dc.contributor.committeememberYaden, David B., Jr.en
dc.contributor.committeememberShort, Kathy G.en
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