College Coursework on Children’s Play and Future Early Childhood Educators’ Intended Practices: The Mediating Influence of Perceptions of Play

Eunjoo Jung, Bora Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Research on the role of play coursework in future professionals’ integration of play in education is essential in the colleges where future professionals are trained. However, the literature on this topic is very thin. It remains unclear whether college coursework on children’s play is related to students’ intentions to integrate play in early childhood education settings and, further, what the mechanism is in the relationships. To better understand the role of play coursework and the way future professionals are educated while in college, we examined whether links existed between future professionals’ play coursework, perceptions of play, and intention to integrate play in their future classrooms. The results revealed a complete mediating role of students’ perceptions of play in association between play-related coursework and intention to integrate play. It confirms play coursework in college has a significant role in these future professionals’ intentions to use play; at the same time, the association needs to be understood when coupled with their perceptions of play. Based on these findings, this paper discusses recommendations when designing college curriculum and play-related coursework to support future professionals in constructing positive perceptions about play and enhancing intentions of play integration. Practical implications for teacher education and child and family studies educators, and future research implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 18 2014



  • Early childhood
  • Future professionals
  • Intention
  • Perception
  • Play
  • Play course

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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