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Practice-based research in children's play


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Table of Contents

Foreword ~ Berry Mayall; Perspectives on play research: the practice-theory-research entanglement ~ Wendy Russell, Stuart Lester and Hilary Smith; Part One: Then and now: historical perspectives; Nostalgia and play ~ Paula Harris; Debris and delight: children's play during the second world war ~ Becky Willans; Adventure playgrounds and me: bringing the past into the auto-ethnographic present ~ Tom Williams; Part Two: Here and there, this and that: spatial and creative perspectives; Dancing with strangers: observing play in an English public square ~ Hattie Coppard; Researching children's play and contemporary art ~ Megan Dickerson; Play and value: determining the values of a nature play setting ~ Linda Kinney; Your space or mine? Play in out of school clubs ~ Rebekah Jackson; Co-creating spaces on an adventure playground: using participatory action research as an approach to continuing professional development ~ John Fitzpatrick and Bridget Handscomb; Children, mobile phones and outdoor play ~ Chris Martin; Part Three: Playfulness and wellbeing; Understandings of play for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) ~ Stephen Smith; Therapeutic playwork: exploring playworkers' perceptions of therapeutic playwork training and its usefulness in supporting children in afterschool clubs ~ Claire Hawkes; Play, playwork and wellbeing ~ Nic Matthews, Hilary Smith, Denise Hill and Lindsey Kilgour; Part Four: Closing thoughts; What do we want research in children's research to do? ~ Wendy Russell, Stuart Lester and Hilary Smith

About the Author

Dr Wendy Russell is Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. Her research focuses on supporting children's right to play, particularly in terms of politics of space, policy and ethics. Dr Stuart Lester was Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. His key research interests included the nature and value of children's play, playful production of time/space through everyday encounters and the conditions under which children's (and adults) playfulness may thrive. Hilary Smith is the Course Leader for the MA Professional Studies in Children's Play and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Liberal and Performing Arts at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. Her research interests are in the realm of children's play and links with physical literacy, health and wellbeing.


"This timely volume offers many new perspectives on an under-researched subject. It will surely help to stimulate new research into children's play." Professor Fraser Brown, Childhood Development and Playwork Team, Leeds Beckett University

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