|Title||The playful learning curriculum: A randomized controlled trial|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Størksen, I, Rege, M, Solli, IFoldøy, Braak, Dten, Lenes, R, Geldhof, GJ|
|Journal||Early Childhood Research Quarterly|
|Pagination||36 - 46|
Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Norway has play, exploration, and discovery as foundations for children's learning, but lacks a curriculum that describes and supports principles of playful learning. The present study examines the effects of the Playful Learning Curriculum in ECEC on children's school readiness skills in the play-based ECEC context of Norway. A total of 96 ECEC centers signed up for the project and recruited 1,313 children. Centers were randomly assigned to an intervention (n = 49) and a control group (n = 47). Intervention centers were asked to implement the curriculum for at least eight hours per week for nine months, and control centers continued as usual. Outcomes included the Ani Banani Math Test (ABMT), the Preschool Early Numeracy Skills Screener (PENS), the Norwegian Vocabulary Test (NVT), and the Weschler's Intelligence Digit Span Test (DS). Analyses clustered by centers and controlling for blocks showed a significant effect of the intervention on children's mathematics skills, ABMT (d =.079, p =.03) and PENS (d =.104, p =.01), but no significant effects on working memory assessed by DS (d =.070, p =.14) or expressive vocabulary assessed by NVT (d = -.011, p = .65). This study shows that a well-defined age-appropriate curriculum based on playful learning may strengthen children's preschool mathematics skills in a play-based ECEC context.
|Short Title||Early Childhood Research Quarterly|