Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ilene Berson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sophia Han, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tony Tan, Ph.D.


early childhood education, play-based learning, Saudi Arabia Vision 2030


In this study, I explored three Saudi kindergarten teachers’ play-based pedagogies. I conducted a qualitative case study (Stake, 1994) in order to examine these teachers’ perceptions of play and describe the ways they incorporated play into their classrooms. My research questions were: How do three Saudi kindergarten teachers perceive play-based learning? In what ways do three Saudi kindergarten teachers implement play-based learning? Participants taught kindergarten in a large private school that served early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school students in Saudi Arabia. Classroom observations and interviews with the teachers were the central data sources. To analyze the data, I conducted a thematic analysis following Clark and Braun’s (2013) process. I found that teachers believed in the benefits of play for children’s learning and development and believed in the influence of their involvement in children’s learning and play. The teachers indicated that a purposeful play which targets academic learning would also promote children’s developmental skills. Further, teachers expressed hopes to develop the education of early childhood to enhance children's learning outcomes and to enhance their practices in the field. Implications and recommendations for future research from the study findings were discussed.