A research question: what influences playwork?
Playwork is an emerging profession based on an approach to working with children that privileges their play, the process of playing, and the provision of optimum environments for playing, above other considerations.
It is, in comparison to mainstream pedagogy certainly, a radical approach, with profoundly different perspectives and tenets to those found in the dominant discourses of child policy and children’s services.
But what are those perspectives and tenets? What is their evidence base? Do they amount to a cohesive praxis? Is there a recognisable and consistent playwork narrative? If so, how does it inform, and how is it informed by, other children’s rights narratives? Most pertinently, given the precarious situation of much of the playwork sector, after 8 years of austerity, does this narrative have resonance with policymakers and their electorates, or should the playwork field look to its future outside of public policy as such?
To help address some of these questions, I am researching the academic and other influences on playwork for a Masters dissertation. If you are in any way within the playwork field and would like to contribute, please complete a short survey here
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