"Sometimes I like to see what I'm doing": Children's voices in outdoor play pedagogical documentation

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Kim, Bora
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Mount Saint Vincent University
This qualitative research was designed to explore how children respond to and think about their outdoor play pedagogical documentation, and how they engage in outdoor play experiences after they have conversations about their outdoor play pedagogical documentation. The purposive sample of six children was bounded in a single-case program in Nova Scotia, Canada. Six children were directly observed during their outdoor play time, and were individually interviewed face-to-face. A typological analysis model was used to analyse the collected data (Hatch, 2002). The research questions predetermined three typologies, children’s reaction, children’s perceptions, and children’s outdoor play engagements. These typologies were examined to determine themes for each typology. The final data analysis concluded with four generalization statements and a case study report. The children perceived their outdoor play pedagogical documentation as a tool where they can revisit, interpret, and reflect on their previous outdoor play experiences. The children believed that the purpose of outdoor play pedagogical documentation is for sharing with their families, friends, or other people who visit their child care centre. It was also found that the children demonstrated their confidence after their outdoor play pedagogical documentation was provided. Merely displaying outdoor play pedagogical documentation outside did not influence the children’s outdoor play experiences; however, having conversations about outdoor play pedagogical documentation allowed the children to express their emotions, articulate their thoughts about previous outdoor play experiences, and provoke and implement outdoor play ideas. This case study revealed children’s understanding about their outdoor play pedagogical documentation and this understanding can be incorporated in the practice of early childhood education in order to increase access to outdoor play and enhance the quality of outdoor play. This case study is limited to one-single case with a focus on each individual child rather than a group of children. This case study yields some implications for early childhood educators, educational institutions, and the community. Recommendations for future research are discussed.