A case study on kindergarten children’s social behaviors during peer play
Keywords:Kindergarten, peer play, social behavior development
The recent peer play perspectives have brought into a new theoretical consciousness for early childhood in the contemporary world, giving new ways of thinking on the relationship between child development and social behaviors. Peer play lays the foundation for developing prosocial abilities among young children. During this process, they gradually learn social and moral norms for behavior and social skills. The purpose of this study was to examine the perspectives of teachers towards the implementation of peer play in the kindergarten setting as well as to investigate the various social behaviors of young children during peer play. This study employed a qualitative approach using case study with interviews and field observations to explore teachers’ beliefs and practices, and children’s social behaviors during peer play. Narrative analysis and thematic analysis were used to gain a holistic view. The participants are the kindergarten teachers and children at the selected kindergarten in Zhejiang, China. The results indicated that the kindergarten children were able to generate rich social behaviors during peer play. Most kindergarten teachers were aware of the values of peer play. They implemented peer play in their overall daily activities in their workplace. However, the findings revealed that there were some teachers unable to resolve peer conflicts during peer play, yet find it is challenging to handle young children resolve doubts, dealing and solving conflicts during peer play. These findings suggested that teachers need training with relevant resources for effective implementation of peer play with desired learning outcomes.
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