Recent decades have seen an upsurge of research with and about young children, their families and communities. The Handbook of Early Childhood Research will provide a landmark overview of the field of early childhood research and will set an agenda for early childhood research into the future. It includes 31 chapters provided by internationally recognized experts in early childhood research. The team of international contributors apply their expertise to conceptual and methodological issues in research and to relevant fields of practice and policy. The Handbook recognizes the main contexts of early childhood research: home and family contexts; out-of-home contexts such as services for young children and their families; and broader societal contexts of that evoke risk for young children. The Handbook includes sections on: the field of early childhood research and its key contributions new theories and theoretical approaches in early childhood research collecting and analysing data applications of early childhood research This Handbook will become the valuable reference text for students, practitioners and researchers from across the social sciences and beyond who are engaged in research with young children.

Understanding Complexity in Play through Interpretivist Research

Understanding complexity in play through interpretivist research
Elizabeth Wood


The field of play scholarship is eclectic in terms of the disciplinary, theoretical and methodological orientations that are used to understand play in its many forms and manifestations, across cultures, communities and life stages (Sutton-Smith, 2001; Dell Clark, 2011; Brooker et al., 2014). Whilst the continued search for definitions reflects this eclecticism, there have been moves away from the traditional dichotomies of pure play/non-play, play/work, free/structured play (Pellegrini, 2009). Free play is typically defined as being motivated, chosen and led by the child or group of children, with little or no intervention from adults. However, Wood (2013a) presents a synthesis of definitions to show that play can be understood across ...

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