A comparative study of play materials, equipment and play practices of various nursery schools on social and intellectual development of pre-school children

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1964

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Abstract

A child development study of one hundred and seventy children was conducted in Houston, Texas, during the fall of 1963 and spring of 1964. The participants were chosen from eight nursery schools and were selected on the basis of children's age, sex, health status, their parents' education and occupation. These parents belonged to various religious and cultural groups. The principal aim of this study was to find the extent play materials, equipment and play practices influenced the social and intellectual development of pre-school children. Eight different nursery schools participated in this study and they were divided into four groups according to their function and aim. The following nursery schools participated in this study: Group I consisted of University of Houston Laboratory nursery school and Texas Southern University Laboratory nursery school; Group II comprised of two privately owned nursery schools, namely A Children's House nursery school and Woodland Hall nursery school; Group III consisted of two church schools, namely River Oaks Baptist Church nursery school and St. Francis Episcopal Church nursery school; and Group IV was comprised of two nursery schools conducted by Day Care Centers; namely Myra Stevens Day Care Center and Caroline Green Day Care Center. The method of this study was the questionnaire form, one set for the parent of the child and the other set for the nursery school teacher. This information was classified according to each group and the data obtained has been presented in tables. The home and nursery schools' play materials, equipment, and play practices of children were discussed. General evaluation of the teacher's observation of each child was also summarized in tables according to each group. This study revealed that children experiencing varied play materials, equipment and play practices showed more social interaction and intellectual ability than the children who had fewer opportunities for varied play materials, equipment and play practices. The children who used play materials and equipment with supervision in schools but did not have the same opportunities at home were somewhat less social and less advanced in intellectual development. The parents who had a higher education provided their children with more play materials, and these same children showed greater social and intellectual development. Teacher's evaluation of developmental achievement showed that children who had more play materials, equipment and well organized practices were more advanced in social and intellectual development. It was interesting to note the difference between the social and intellectual development of boys and girls. Girls, in general, showed more social interaction and intellectual abilities.

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