‘Monkey bars, noodles and a car park: a comparative analysis of social interaction in two school ground contexts’

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Presenter:  Dr Linda Mahony & Dr Georgina Nutton

Date: Jul 20, 2016

Time: 11:00am to 12:30pm

Contact person:  The LEBA Research and Postgraduate Office
T: 8946 6156
E: LEBAResearch@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Lecture theatre Blue 5.1.01

Please RSVP by 3pm Monday 18th July 2016 via Outlook or email LEBAResearch@cdu.edu.au
Lunch will be provided upon receipt of an RSVP

**Waterfront Campus, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Melbourne & Sydney based colleagues interested in attending please request video conference in your RSVP (ITMS ask that requests are submitted at least 2 days prior)


The school playground is recognised  broadly in the literature as a crucial setting for children to develop social behaviours by engaging in a diverse range of physical and social activities. In this study we examined children’s social interactions in two distinctly different primary school playgrounds—a school playground with fixed equipment, and a school playground with moveable play equipment. The aim of this research was to explore how primary school children’s social behaviours in schoolyard activities can vary in two different playground contexts. Through field notes and observation scheduling, descriptions of the range of children’s social behaviours in the two school playgrounds emerged. This study provides some insights into how the development of school children’s social and emotional wellbeing can be supported, or hindered, by the physical design of playgrounds made available to children.


Dr Linda Mahony - Linda is a Lecturer within the School of Education at Charles Darwin University. She has been a teacher of young children in schools for almost twenty years. Her research interests are in the field of promoting wellbeing and learning of young children and their families as well as well as teachers’ pedagogy for teaching primary school aged children’s language and literacy, and early childhood preservice teachers’ practicum experiences and decision-making processes.

Dr Georgina Nutton - Georgie is Course Manager for the undergraduate teaching program at Charles Darwin University now incorporating both early childhood (birth to five years) and primary aged children (to age twelve years). She has three decades of practice, policy and research contributions with particular interests in early childhood development, including access and equity in socially disadvantaged communities.

Co-authors (not presenting) - Dr Brendon Hyndman, Dr Sue Erica Smith and Dr Aue TeAva