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.
- Early childhood
- Future professionals
- Play course
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology