Singapore University of Social Sciences

Play and Inquiry in Early Childhood Education

Play and Inquiry in Early Childhood Education (ECE205)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Education

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


This course focuses on play, the cornerstone of healthy development in children in the early childhood years. The meaning of children’s play is presented and how children make sense of a rapidly changing world through their play. Definitions of play are examined as well as raising awareness of some of the major theorists who have enhanced our understanding about the value and significance of play. Children’s play opportunities in Singapore are discussed including the role that culture has in mediating play. What play means in any culture and for any group of children must be explored within that local societal contexts (James, 1998).This course will include Inquiry based learning and how this can be nurtured, for example, in the project approach. In raising play issues of concern for parents and educators, the module examines the challenges of creating time and curriculum for child centred play to be nurtured as a basic right of every child.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester


  • The nature of play
  • The meaning of play in early childhood
  • Play as leading development
  • Play and inquiry in early childhood education
  • The role of the teachers and other adults in inquiry based learning
  • Capitalising on children’s interests – the project approach
  • Make believe play – value and role of symbolic play
  • Parents expectations about play
  • Play in the curriculum
  • Making provision for all areas of the curriculum in play
  • Current research findings in relation to teacher/child interactions in play curriculum contexts
  • Other Significant Theorists

Learning Outcome

  • Describe the nature of play in children’s development
  • Show the importance of culture in children’s play
  • Analyse the role and purpose of a play-based curriculum
  • Explain the phases of children’s play
  • Apply theories of play in early childhood practice
  • Examine the implications of children’s play on curriculum design
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