Dangerous activities within an invisible playground: a study of emergent male football play and teachers' perspectives of outdoor free play in the early years of primary school

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-259
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2007
This research was carried out during a study which focused upon the rough and tumble play of children in the early years department of a suburban primary school in Northern England. The child sample’s playtime activities were ethnographically observed over a period of eighteen calendar months, during which time interviews were also carried out with the children’s class teachers and several other adults taking part in the children’s daily school routines. It was found that the narratives created by a cohort of 4½-6½ year old boys around their football (soccer) play were socially and symbolically complex, providing evidence that such play is a highly valuable developmental activity. However, the interview data indicated that principally due to very low adult: child ratios in playground supervision, the focus of the adults was strongly directed towards negative aspects of outdoor free play.


  • invisible playground3 REVISED

    Rights statement: © 2007 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Early Years Education on 13/08/07, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09669760701516918

    Accepted author manuscript, 297 KB, PDF document

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