Play in Early Childhood Education: Learning in Diverse Contexts (2nd Ed.)


Edited by Marjory Ebbeck and Manjula Waniganayake

The topic of play is fundamental to understanding how children grow and learn. Play in Early Childhood Education Second Edition is an essential introduction to the theories behind this play and how it relates to children’s development and learning. It enables students and educators to understand the complex learning theories, professional practice and selected government policies that focus on children’s play and early learning. This user-friendly text also tackles the rapidly changing contexts where children are raised and educated, demonstrating diverse approaches to play-based learning and considering new insights and possibilities.



  • Includes a wide range of real life case examples; teaching examples; and reflections covering the birth to 8 years age range to illustrate theory in practice
  • Expert author team of early childhood academics
  • Cross-cultural contexts – examines the power of play in facilitating young children’s development and learning in many diverse contexts including Australia, Cambodia, Finland, Tanzania, Singapore  and Hong Kong.

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New to this edition:

  • Revised to take account of recent significant national policy changes in early childhood in Australia (and in other selected countries) which focus on the interpretation and implementation of Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the National Quality Standard – students will see direct links between play and these policy documents.
  • Chapters have been re-organised and re-named to better match course content and to assist students’ navigation, and understanding of key topic areas, including:
    • developing early childhood curriculum
    • assessing children including the use of learning stories
    • inquiry based learning
    • ICT and its use with young children
    • facilitating leadership in young children
    • working with infants and toddlers
    • play in the lives of  Aboriginal children
    • consumer culture and its impact on young children’s play
    • learning through science exploration
    • literacy learning through play
    • urban spaces and play including play space in the virtual world
    • the play-work interconnection
    • curriculum development and play for children in Finland and other countries; guiding children’s behaviour.
  • Five new chapters:
    • Chapter 2 – Early Years Learning: Implications for Curriculum
    • Chapter 3 – Assessing Children’s Learning through Play
    • Chapter 9 – Play and the Inquiring Mind
    • Chapter 10 – Guiding Children’s Behaviour
    • Chapter 12 – Play, Playing Along and Playing it Up: Understanding the Play of Aboriginal Children
  • The use of ICT based play is covered more extensively
  • Updated with the latest research and references
  • Updated case studies to enable students connect theory to practical teaching situations.

 Learning Features

  • Section openers & Chapter objectives: Explain the purpose and the content of each section and give readers a clear outline of what they will learn.
  • Reflection feature: Asks students to pause and reflect on content they have just read
  • Margin notes:These draw attention to key concepts/ideas, summarise content and highlight links to the EYLF.
  • Case studies: Illustrate theoretical content through real examples depicting children to assist students relate their learning to practice.
  • Chapter summary: Summarises key points of the chapter to guide readers review content covered.
  • Key Concepts: In each chapter, 4-6 key concepts are defined and explained to enable students develop their vocabulary and understanding of ECE concepts. The new key concept icon identifies where each key concept is discussed in the chapter.
  • Points of discussion and debate: Enable readers to unpack and discuss theories and their practical application.
  • Annotated key references & Chapter references: Encourage further reading and research.

Additional information

Weight 0.78 kg
Dimensions 24.7 × 20.8 cm







Oxford University Press

Year Published