Meaning of Play with Loose Parts Materials in Preschool Education: A Case Study
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Keywords:Preschool education, loose parts materials, play with loose parts materials, preschool teacher
This study aimed at determining the opinions of preschool teachers on loose parts materials (LP) and the reflections of these opinions in practice. This study, which was conducted by the qualitative research method, adopted the case study design. The purposive sampling method was used in determining the participants of this study. This study was conducted at a public school in Etimesgut district of Ankara province, Turkey. This school was running a European Union project called Learn by Design (ERASMUS+ KA229). This project aimed at improving the creativity, conceptual levels, and general developmental levels of children with the use of LP and was planned to be conducted between September 2019 and June 2022. The study group of this study consisted of 7 preschool teachers actively implementing the project in the 2020-2021 academic year. To further deepen the study and reveal the reflections of the project in practice, the project’s social media product-output posts (photos and videos) belonging to the same academic year were also included. The data obtained were analyzed using the content analysis method. In this study, it was determined that integrating LP into the educational environments provided an increase in learning motivation and general happiness as well as various positive social behaviors in children, increased parent participation by strengthening parent-school communication and interaction, supported children in many ways, and contributed to their holistic development, and supported children in becoming free and competent individuals who create, discover, and are responsible for their learning by providing quality play experiences.
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