Research Impact: This study explores the relationship between play-based learning and achievement in mathematics in Palestinian primary school children. Play can be viewed as a spectrum – that ranges from free play (no guidance or support) to guided play and games (including purposeful adult support while maintaining playful elements) (Zosh et al, 2018). Forty teachers from eight schools received training in play-based pedagogies and follow-up support visits from programme staff (intervention group); four matched schools served as the control group. Grade-appropriate tests were administered to all students in two consecutive school terms. A total of 859 students (458 females, 401 males) and 832 students (477 females, 355 males) completed maths tests in term 1 and 2, respectively. Results revealed that the intervention group attained higher test scores than the control group in both terms. Our finding suggest that play-based learning approaches may enhance attainment in maths assessments. Future research should explore the potential pathways and mediating factors that can explain – and perhaps maximise – how play-based approaches can influence learning.
Murtagh, E. M., Sawalma, J., & Martin, R. (2022). Playful maths! The influence of play-based learning on academic performance of Palestinian primary school children. Educational Research for Policy and Practice. doi:10.1007/s10671-022-09312-5