Play Pedagogy

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  • Title: Play Pedagogy: Perspectives of Basic School Teachers in Ghana
  • Author(s): Seidu Sofo, Emmanuel Thompson, Julie Ray, Mavis Dako Gyeke
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning
  • Keywords: Ghana, Kindergarten, Pedagogy, Play, Preschool, Primary School, Teachers
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-7939 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8722 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Sofo, Seidu, Emmanuel Thompson, Julie Ray, and Mavis Dako Gyeke. 2018. "Play Pedagogy: Perspectives of Basic School Teachers in Ghana." The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning 24 (3): 17-29. doi:10.18848/2327-7939/CGP/v24i03/17-29.
  • Extent: 13 pages


This study examined the play beliefs of basic school teachers in Ghana. Participants were a purposive sample of 571 basic school teachers from three regions of Ghana. The Play Beliefs Inventory (PBI) served as the data source. The PBI included forty items designed to assess teachers’ play beliefs within two subscales: Play Focus (PF) and Traditional African Play (TAP). Teachers responded to a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly agree (scored 5) to strongly disagree (scored 1). A higher score indicated a stronger play belief and a lower score a weaker play belief. The PBI had a Cronbach’s alpha of .833. Data across the entire sample indicated that most of the teachers reported strong play beliefs. Experienced teachers were more likely to report lower play beliefs. Play beliefs of males and females were similar. Two-Way Analyses of Variance indicated that region, professional qualification, and certification had significant effects for PF, TAP, and PBI—grade level was not significant. The number of girls in class was significant, while the overall class size was not. However, region showed significant interactions with grade level and certification, but not with professional qualification. Teachers with post-secondary certificates had lower play beliefs than untrained teachers, those with diplomas or bachelor’s degrees. Teachers with early childhood certification had higher play beliefs than those with general basic education certification. These findings indicate that region, professional qualification, certification, and the number of girls in class were significant factors that should be considered in attempts to raise the status of play in the development and learning among young children.