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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674


VAN AS, Alta J.  and  EXCELL, Lorayne. Strengthening early childhood teacher education towards a play-based pedagogical approach. SAJCE [online]. 2018, vol.8, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 2223-7682.

BACKGROUND: Music as one of the creative arts offers an ideal vehicle to implement alternative teaching and learning strategies, including the implementation of purposeful but playful pedagogies that are increasingly being acknowledged as the most appropriate way of teaching young children. However, within higher educational institutions, it is becoming more difficult to develop sufficient content knowledge and confidence in student teachers to teach playfully through music. Students being unaware of playful music strategies favour 'desk bound' methodologies. AIM: This article explores a music intervention aimed to deepen students' understanding of and ability to teach playfully through music and reflects on a shift in students' understandings and perceptions in response to the intervention. SETTING: This article reports on the first 2 years of a music intervention programme which was offered to second-year early childhood education students studying for their BEd degree METHODS: The research design is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. It explores how students experience challenges with music education and to explain the nature of these challenges. We outline a music intervention programme designed to deepen student teachers' understanding, ability and confidence to teach playfully through music. We made use of questionnaires, interviews and observations to explore the success of this intervention programme. RESULTS: These showed that students' were positive, showing that students deepened their insights and increased their confidence to teach playfully through music. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the authors show that well-considered music education offers a viable way to enhance a playful approach to teaching and learning in the early years.

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