Smoothing the Path to Practice

Playful Learning Raises Study Happiness and Confidence in Future Roles Among Student Teachers and Student ECE Teachers

Researchers investigating the experiences of novice teachers highlight the importance of easing their transition from study to work, including by strengthening their personal resources through active experimentation with future practices. Based on survey data from a large-scale programme evaluation, this paper reports on associations found between the adoption of a hands-on, student-centred approach – playful learning-based teaching (PLT) – during initial training of future professionals in care and education and three key outcomes: students’ happiness with their studies, perception of competence and professional readiness. Results showed that PLT was positively associated with all three outcomes, and further, that PLT can feasibly be promoted by equipping lecturers with material resources and peer support to adopt playful elements in their teaching.