Playfulness of early childhood teachers and their views in supporting playfulness

Canaslan-Akyar B., SEVİMLİ ÇELİK S.

EDUCATION 3-13, vol.50, no.1, pp.1-15, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03004279.2021.1921824
  • Journal Name: EDUCATION 3-13
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-15
  • Keywords: Playfulness, early childhood, in-service teachers, mixed method, CHILDRENS PLAY, PERSONALITY, EDUCATION
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study examined Turkish early childhood teachers' playfulness and their support of playfulness in classrooms. An explanatory mixed method design was utilised with a convenience sample of 485 teachers in the quantitative portion and 20 teachers in the qualitative portion. The quantitative data was collected through the Adult Playfulness Trait Scale (APTS), while the qualitative data was collected via interviews. No differences were indicated for teacher playfulness regarding age and/or years of teaching. Moreover, playfulness scores for teachers who did not attend courses on play and graduated from high school were higher than scores for teachers who attended play courses and graduated university. The teachers support of play and playfulness was indicated through the qualitative results. However, academic excellence and parental pressure persuaded teachers to have more goal-oriented and/or teacher-directed play time. Teachers' involvement in play seemed non-playful and inflexible. A need for becoming aware of playfulness in the classroom was revealed. Teachers should carefully approach play time and play interactions because these activities influence children's actions, creativity, thinking, and play behaviour.