Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Aaron Hughey (Director), Stacy Edd-Ellis, and Imelda Bratton

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


This study examines early childhood educators’ perceptions of play as a developmentally appropriate practice in preschool classrooms. Through selective sampling, 10 preschool teachers were chosen. These teachers were identified because of their experience, education, and the lead they take on various projects, as well as the author’s personal knowledge of their work ethic and dedication to the education profession. The teachers were interviewed using an extempore, semi-structured configuration about their beliefs relating to play, how they implement play in their classrooms, and their viewpoint on hurdles to play. They identified the supports required to implement play as a developmentally appropriate practice in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. The early educators made it abundantly clear that play is the “concrete” in a strong foundation for preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Implications for future research and practice are included.


Early Childhood Education | Educational Methods