This assessment involves analysing a play-based artefact with one philosophical lens.
The purpose of this assessment task is to:
Consider how play expresses or challenges social norms, and how it tells us about the world we live in Apply your emerging knowledge and understanding of historical and philosophical underpinnings of ECE to a play-based artefact
The unit learning outcome(s) assessed is/are:
LO 1: Elucidate and apply knowledge and understanding of both the historical and philosophical underpinnings of early childhood education.
LO 2: Critically review formal and informal engagements with place, drawing from diverse theoretical scholarship to work towards a reconciled and respectful practice.
This assessment task explores historical and philosophical perspectives of a play-based artefact. You can choose what item to use as your visual representation. It might be a doll, a stick or anything that children engage in ‘play’ with.
Once you have your item, you will critically reflect on it in order to understand this object and its use in play from a chosen perspective.
Write up your analysis with the following headings:
Introduction to play-based artefact (100 - 150 words suggested)
Include an image
Briefly describe the object and how or why children use it, how you have seen it used as a play thing or its potential uses
Connection to place (100 - 150 words suggested)
Describe any context, or connections this object has to place. (100 words suggested)
Analysis using a insert perspective here lens (300 words suggested)
Discuss your artefact with reference to one perspective (examples listed below)
What do you see when considering this object with this lens? How does it work with or challenge your chosen lens?
Use 2 – 3 readings from the unit to support your discussion
To get started on your assessment task, please follow the instructions below;
Identify your play-based artefact.
Start thinking about your chosen artefact from a variety of perspectives. To assist you, consider:
• What readings or ideas have you connected with from the unit? What do you want to explore more?
• What do you see?
• How do you think children might play or interact with it?
• What might this artefact teach children? - remember to consider culture as well as their development.
• Describe how play with this object expresses or challenges social norms, and how it tells us about the world we live in.
• What is the context of it? i.e. is it designed for a certain audience, is it accessible, where does it come from, where is it most often found? Is there a reason?
• Interaction with place – where does it come from? When did it emerge/when was it designed as a play object? Is it connected to a particular place or time? Is it used universally, if so, did it travel across the globe? How? Is it placed somewhere for a reason? How does it affect ‘play’?
• What are the implications of this artefact? i.e. the political implications of the object, the historical implications of the object?
3. Identify one perspective to analyse the object. Suggested perspectives are:
The following are examples, you may wish to use others - check with your lecturer on the discussion board if you're not sure.
• Post-structuralism (eg Foucault)
• Gender theory/feminism
• Critical theory
• Socio-cultural (eg Reggio Emilia)
4. Choose readings from the unit and the VU library or online (do not rely solely on websites) that will help you understand these perspectives. Read them, and take note of ideas that you could use to help you think about your chosen artefact.
The following levels of criteria will be used to grade this assessment task:
Criterion 1: Demonstrates critical reflection (20 marks)
You will do this in your first section and throughout the written piece.
What is the role of play?
What are the social, political and philosophical implications of the things that children play with?
Criterion 2: Engages with the idea of 'place' in children's play (20 marks)
What role does 'place' have in the children's play? How is the artefact used in place? How is it different if it is used in different places? Can you make a connection to Indigenous perspectives about place?
Criterion 3: Analysis of artefact (30 marks)
Choose a highly relevant theoretical perspective to analyse your artefact. Show understanding of the perspective through your analysis.
Ensure you use readings and resources from the unit to support your discussion.
Criterion 4: Clarity of ideas (15 marks)
Make sure your work is written clearly, in appropriate academic style. Proofread your work for errors in spelling and grammar. Stick to the word limit.
Criterion 5: Referencing (15 marks)
References in correct Harvard style with both in-text citations and a reference list.