Children, mothers, and preschool teachers’ perceptions of play: Findings from Turkey and Norway

Asiye İvrendi, Nilgün Cevher-Kalburan, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Rune Storli, Anne Holla Sivertsen


This cross-cultural study aims to explore children’s, mothers’, and teachers’ current perceptions of play in Turkish and Norwegian cultures by using the Cultural Historical Action Theory framework as an analytical tool. The participants included 40 children enrolled in preschools, 39 mothers, and 10 teachers. In this cross cultural comparative study, structured interviews were used to collect the data. The results revealed one common theme across the participants’ definitions of play, the feelings related to play. All three groups expressed play as a way of having fun. Another common theme for the adults from both countries were the ideas that, play is important for children’s learning and development and, it is impossible to think of an alternative to play. Both Norwegian and Turkish children defined play as different examples, such as cars, bicycles and balls. While Norwegian teachers defined play as a context in which children make their own decisions, both Norwegian and Turkish teachers considered play socialize with friends and to be a way of communication. The concept of adults as the community of play and children as the actors of play deserve more attention

Anahtar Kelimeler

International play; Play definitions; Play preferences

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