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Title Responsive Play: Exploring Play as Reader Response in a First Grade Classroom
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher University of Arizona
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.
Subjects/Keywords exploration; language; play; reader response; sociocultural resources; Language, Reading & Culture; early literacy
Contributors Short, Kathy G (advisor); DaSilva Iddings, Ana Christina (committeemember); Yaden, David B., Jr. (committeemember); Short, Kathy G. (committeemember)
Language en
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.
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:10150/612808
Repository arizona-diss
Date Indexed 2018-11-26
Issued Date 2016-01-01 00:00:00

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