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Track 11 – Current research in play and playwork

In this track we highlight some of the more interesting research work currently being undertaken in the play and playwork world

Room 11
The Art of Wellbeing: a participatory study with play rangers and children at play& Pip LevettA journey through our joint research project exploring photos, drawings, children’s conversations, narratives and stories of their lived experiences with the play rangers. We will share how we interpreted our data (the children’s narratives, photos and drawings) through a ‘subjective wellbeing’ lens in order to draw conclusions of how play and relationships with play rangers contribute to children’s subjective wellbeing.

We will discuss the role of the practitioner as researcher and how playworkers and play rangers might further develop their skills in this area in the future.
Level: Moving on / Give me more! / Length: 1 hr 30 mins /

Time: 9:30 - 11:00
Bringing play to lifeThe aim of this workshop is to propose that the process of being alive goes on through playing. Rather than follow a pre-established line of development, life is always on the move. Organic, physical and cultural materials assemble and fall apart in dynamic, complex formations designed to keep life from becoming stagnant and inert, a process of continuous qualitative change that occurs in everyday rhythms, routines and practices. Playing may be seen as the creative force or desire of life to be ever alert to the possibility of new possibilities.

Drawing on recent research studies, the workshop will examine how paying more attention to everyday movements and encounters between bodies and things shows the world to be a lively place. But it also reveals an inequitable distribution of resources, a combination of multiple and complex conditions, that conspire to restrict extensive movement. General Comment 17 offers the potential to subject these to critical scrutiny to develop a shared commitment to create more just and democratic environments for children and ways in which lives can get on and go on together.
Level: Give me more! / Length: 1 hr 30 mins / Time: 11:15 - 12:45
Children’s use of mobile phones on adventure playgroundsMobile phones pervade children’s everyday lives; they see them as crucial in establishing and maintaining friendships; negotiating permissions with parents; and for playing games on.

The relationship between children, mobile phones and outdoor play is however largely unexplored.

This workshop looks at exploratory research carried out for the final assessment of my M.A., examining how children in one English adventure playground interact with mobile phones, examining the affordances phones offer and how these are actualised.

Although the 3.5 acre site the research was carried out on is dominated by 60’ pines, streams and mud, the research constructs the environment as a material/socio-cultural/cyberhybrid in an attempt to sidestep binary positions such as nature/technology.

De-centering the playing child and reconstructing them as one of a number of actants in a complex assemblage provides a non-conventional perspective, offering the qualities of non-human actants up to increased scrutiny.
Level: Moving on / Give me more! / Length: 1 hour /

Time: 13:30 - 14:30
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