oa Journal of Education - Social play by young at-risk children: a microgenetic approach to the study of emergent collaboration and numeracy

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



A sociocultural perspective was taken to examine the development of social play and emergent mathematics during social play with students at-risk. A longitudinal experimental design was carried out including a microgenetic study of the play sessions. Nineteen dyads from five primary schools and eight dyads from six special primary schools participated in the study. The dyads will be followed through from Grade 2 to 3. The subjects were selected with respect to age, language development, intelligence score and temperament. Then dyads were matched within classrooms according to sex and age. The dyads in the experimental condition took part in six 20-minute play sessions over a period of three weeks followed by a seventh session two months after the sixth one. The dyads in the control condition were studied in the first and seventh session only. Each experimental session included an invitation to build a zoo using toy-animals and wooden blocks. The study is still in progress. The results with respect to comparison of mathematical knowledge at the end of Grade 2 are presented. Moreover, collaboration and emergent mathematics during play sessions from two dyads are descriptionbed and discussed.

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