Play as a leading activity for children in a digitally-mediated environment in the home setting

Masters Thesis


Caughey, Jane. (2021) Play as a leading activity for children in a digitally-mediated environment in the home setting [Masters Thesis]. Australian Catholic University Research Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8w443
AuthorsCaughey, Jane
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMaster of Education (Research)
Abstract

This research investigated play as a leading activity for children in a digitally-mediated environment in the home setting. Specifically, it explored how two separately located 7- to 8-year- old girls, who are friends in the real world, engaged in sociodramatic play with each other by interacting as avatars in the same online virtual world environment whilst synchronously using video communication tools to discuss their play. Underpinned by interpretivist philosophical assumptions and informed by the cultural-historical approach to research, this inquiry employed a qualitative single-case study design to gain insight into the unique nature of this contemporary form of play. Drawing on the cultural-historical theoretical concept of play as a leading activity, the research examined and analysed how children in separate home settings, located within the same regional city in Victoria, Australia, used their imagination to give rise to sociodramatic play in a contemporary context through networked digital technologies. This process enabled theoretical insight to be gained into specific psychological benefits afforded by this play practice to better inform parents about recognising the potential for virtual world gameplay via video chat to support children’s cognitive developmental outcomes. Findings emerging from this investigation were used to describe the defining features and fundamental characteristics of play as a leading activity in a digitally-mediated environment. Important factors influencing children’s ability to engage in this contemporary form of play in the home setting were also identified.

Year2021
PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8w443
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-190
Final version
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online23 Jun 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Jun 2021
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8w443/play-as-a-leading-activity-for-children-in-a-digitally-mediated-environment-in-the-home-setting

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