CRPR06006 2017 Play and Playwork: Theory and Practice

General Details

Full Title
Play and Playwork: Theory and Practice
Transcript Title
Play and Playwork
N/A %
Subject Area
CRPR - Creative Practice
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2017 - Full Academic Year 2017-18
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Breda McTaggart, Aoife Cooney
Programme Membership
SG_GPLAY_N06 201700 Level 6 Special Purpose Award in Applied Arts in Playwork: Practice and Provision

Learners will be introduced to the essence and role of play and playwork. Exploring the concept of play and how playwork has evolved overtime. It sets out why play is important to childrens development. It describes the roles and responsibilities of playworkers practicing at different levels. Students will critically analyse the theory and practice of play and playwork, identifying ways to ensure the adoption of playwork practices.


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Examine the historical foundations of play and playwork.


Discuss the essence and role of play.


Explain the principles of playwork.


Define the theoretical frameworks of playwork.


Explore the professional practices of the playworker.


Apply models of reflection to their experiential learning.


Reflect on their ability to engage playfully with others.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Pedagogy will be play based, in order to mirror the philosophy of the course.

In addition practical case studies, film, text and creative practices will be employed.

Teaching spaces are also important to the success of this learning experience, consequently available Art rooms, Early childhood rooms and the Outdoor classroom will be used as appropriate.

This will be delivered through a blended learning methodology;

12 hours online: Two hours alternate weeks.

38 hours face- to- face: Three residentials.

Module Assessment Strategies

This module will have two assessed components worth 50% each.

Essay - 1250 words linked to learning outcomes as indicated.

Individual Project: Mapping exercise - pre-course, mid-course, post-course using image and text.

Repeat Assessments

An appropriate repeat assessment will be provided based on the failed component(s).

Indicative Syllabus

At the end of this module, the Learner will have the ability to:

1. Outline the history and foundation of play and plawork, with a focus on key theories relevant to the discourse of play and playwork.

2. Discuss the essence and role of play.

Theories of play, play’s function and the characteristics of play will be presented and examined through case studies.

3. Explain the principles of playwork.

The eight principles of playwork will be examined and analysed in order to offer critique.

4. Define the theoretical frameworks of playwork.

Learners will be introduced to writings of key theorists in the profession, for example: Fraser Brown, Bob Hughes and Penny Wilson.

5. Explore the professional practices of the playworker.

Learners will cover aspects, such as the planning process, the reflection process and working as part of a team as essential elements of the playworkers practice.

6. Apply models of reflection to their experiential learning.

Learners will be introduced to theorists, for example: Kolb, Gibbs and Schon.

7. Reflect on their ability to engage playfully with others.

Through reflective models, Learners will map their own playfulness through practical experience, how this impacts on the role of playworker, child and context.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Essay Project Essay 50 % Week 12 1,3,4
2 Reflection Project Individual Project 50 % Week 12 2,5,6,7

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Workshop Flat Classroom Workshop 19 Twice Per Semester 2.53
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.53 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Distance Learning Suite Online 2 Fortnightly 1.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 1.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2014-11-01 Good Practice in Playwork 3rd Edition Oxford University Press
ISBN 1408504928 ISBN-13 9781408504925

Approved by SPRITO, this text is fully revised throughout to reflect the latest thinking and practice, and is based upon the National Occupational Standards.

Recommended Reading
2008-07-01 Foundations of Playwork Open University Press
ISBN 0335222927 ISBN-13 9780335222926

"The editors take readers through a breathtaking landscape of perspectives on the foundations of playwork. ... This book invites you to reflect (see Palmer, p51). But above all, it is one that inspires action."
Children and Society

"Foundations of Playwork is a must read for anyone with an interest in playwork or children's services. It shows the breadth, depth and value of our work with and on behalf of children."
Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales

Play impacts on all aspects of human behaviour and development, including the social, physical, cognitive, creative, emotional and spiritual worlds. The profession of playwork endeavours to provide enriched play environments with a view to enabling children achieve their full potential.

This book provides a holistic overview of contemporary play and playwork. Straightforward and accessible, it covers topics such as playwork identity; play environments; the role of the playworker; values and ethics; play and playwork theory; and at the heart of the book, a special chapter located at the cutting-edge of 21st century play theory.

The authors position play and playwork within the broader social context of the management and development of play settings, work within and between different sectors of the children's workforce, and the socio-legal framework of children's rights, and legislation. The book has international interest, considering playwork in the UK, US and Romania. It looks at diverse settings such as prisons, hospitals, parks, adventure playgrounds and play centres, schools, youth settings and nurseries.

Contributions from many of the leading names in playwork offer the most current theory and practice in the field. They present approaches to playwork using a range of techniques such as case studies and critiques, applied and emergent theorizing, story-telling and reflection. This encourages the reader to gain a breadth of perspective and develop their own contribution to the playwork tradition.

Foundations of Playwork is a vital resource for playwork students, practitioners, members of the children's workforce, carers and parents.

Module Resources

Other Resources

Wood, P, and Korndorfer, J (2005) Playing for real toolkit. A practical resource for consulting children about outdoor play spaces. Exeter: Devon Play Association.

SkillsActive (2006b) Playwork People 2: research into the characteristics of the playwork workforce. London: SkillsActive.

Smith, S and Willans, B (2007) ‘There’s no place like the play space: an appreciation of disability and playwork’, in Russell, W, Handscomb, B and Fitzpatrick, J (eds) Playwork Voices: In celebration of Bob Hughes and Gordon Sturrock. London: London Centre for Playwork Education and Training.