Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

Jolyn Blank


basic school, children's voices, preschool, sociocultural theory, video-cued interviews


Although research on children's play is abundant and considerable advances have been made in young children's play, the majority of these studies have been based in western developed countries and written from adults' perspectives rather than with children. Additionally, very little research has been done on children's play with active participants from smaller developing countries. The voices of society's youngest members have been lost or are only marginally represented.

The purpose of this qualitative research is to explore, understand, and describe young Jamaican children's lived play experiences as related through their eyes. The theoretical frameworks used to guide this study are sociocultural theory and narrative case study. Narrative case study focuses on a particular phenomenon and, through rich description, each participant's story relates the complexities of this phenomenon. Sociocultural theory is related to the social, cultural, and historical theory of a people and is constructed as they participate in culturally pertinent activities.

The examined literature, which draws on diverse theoretical frameworks, including Vygotsky and Rogoff's sociocultural theory and Bronfenbrenner's work on socioecological theory, discusses types of play, the relationship between play and children's development, indoor and outdoor play at school, and play as perceived by children. A key theme in this literature is children's beliefs and values observed through a cultural filter.

The three 5-year-old children, their teacher, and parents were purposefully selected for this single-bounded case study. The methods of data collection include video-cued interviews (VCI), a researcher's journal, and observation and field-notes. An understanding of the history of Jamaican education and its people is essential to the successful implementation of the play-based curriculum. The importance of knowing how children view their play and its manifestations and meanings is compelling to the Jamaican people and will help inform teachers, teacher education programs, parents, national and international funders, and other stakeholders as they try to fuse Jamaican culture with global elements of young children education.