Shift in teachers’ pedagogical practices in play-based programme in Indonesia

Ade Dwi Utami, Marilyn Fleer, Liang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Different approaches to implementing ‘learning through play' exist in many countries due to different understandings of the concept of play. In Indonesia, teachers implement play in a structured way following certain play developmental stages, where the focus is on children’s academic outcomes, rather than the development of concepts as part of children’s play. This paper seeks to explore how teachers shift their pedagogical practices from a formal model of play to a playworld approach, that is used as an intervention in this educational experiment study. The playworld emphasises the nexus between play, learning, and cultural contexts as equally essential. In the larger study, video observations of nine teachers interacting with 38 children (18 boys; 20 girls; 3.5–5 years; mean age of 4.4 years) during group-play activities (98 hours) and interviews were analysed. Informed by the cultural-historical theory, this paper focuses on the shift of pedagogical practices from structured and teacher-directed play practices to teacher’s role-play pedagogy reflected in teachers’ roles and understanding. The teachers’ role-play pedagogy assists teachers’ learning and the transition process from the traditional practices to the playworld practices. Thus, this pedagogy has the potential to be an important step in the playworld implementation in children’s learning.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • cultural–historical theory
  • Indonesia
  • Play pedagogy
  • playworld
  • teaching practice

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