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Playing better through dialogue

In May 2018 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam started a study into the professionalisation of dialogue in the play activities of children aged 2-4. It is known that dialogical conversations greatly contribute to children’s development. But how can we train educational staff so that they are better equipped to guide children while they play? Researchers will delve into this professionalisation issue in the next 36 months, led by Dr. M. Dobber.

Dialogue is important to development

By dialogue, researchers are referring to real conversations with children. Educational staff ask open questions and give children the space to express their own ideas. This support style is complex, yet very important for the development of children in the areas of language, thinking and social interaction.

Training educational staff

The researchers will focus on two forms of professionalisation: training and networking, both of which involve a combination of group meetings and coaching at the work setting. The expectation is that both forms of professionalisation will improve not only the quality of play activities but also language development and social development.

Bringing together science and practice

The study is the result of a collaboration between Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, KidsFoundation and Kinderopvang 2Samen. It is made possible by a subsidy of ZonMw.

Author: Helen Faasse. Source: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

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