This study sought to examine the experience of early childhood pre-service teachers participating in facilitated research analysis with discussion-case application. Specifically, we were interested in the impact on teachers’ knowledge of and attitude towards the role and value of play in the classroom. This study describes the qualitative phase of a sequential explanatory mixed method research project. Eight participants were interviewed after participating in an in-class activity of analyzing a piece of research on play and applying it to a hypothetical discussion-case in a small group Four key findings emerged from this study: participants viewed play as inextricably connected to learning; participants were committed to the incorporation of play in their future classrooms, many articulating a resolve to become agents of change; participants found that working in small collaborative groups to be advantageous, creating a community of practice; finally, participants found that the process of applying research to a discussion-case to be beneficial due to its feasibility. The findings from this study are encouraging because they demonstrate the potential of facilitated research analysis with discussion-case application as a strategy for fostering a deep understanding of the purpose and importance of play in the early-childhood classroom, as well as potentially cultivating a commitment to preserving play in the early childhood classroom. Discussion-cases may also serve as a tool for exploring other key concepts with prospective teachers. The findings have implications for teacher-educators as they prepare early childhood pre-service teachers.
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Resnick, Meredith and Johnson, Ane T.
"Discussion-Case Analysis for Facilitating Pre-Service Teachers' Exploration of Play in the Early Childhood Classroom,"
Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research: