Music-inspired free play to foster scientific exploration in early childhood
Background: The importance of music and play in early childhood development is widely acknowledged. However, no recent studies have investigated the potential of music-inspired free play to foster scientific exploration. Aim: The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explain the rationale in utilising musical skills, knowledge and experiences during free play to foster scientific exploration, applying a constructivist approach with the learner placed at the centre of the educational process, while the teacher acts as observer and facilitator. Setting: Data were primarily collected through documents to create a concept map that informed observations of preschoolers during free play at two day-care centres in Mohadin in the North-West Province of South Africa. Methods: An explanatory case study provided the context for this study and a document analysis informed the findings. Results: Through data analysis, key themes were identified from the literature and observations to generate a conceptual model that illustrates the influence of music-inspired free play to foster scientific exploration by stimulating creativity and emphasising the necessity of free play in preschool settings. Conclusion: The conclusion of this investigation was a better understanding of the capacity of young learners to apply scientific exploration, utilising a transdisciplinary approach for teaching and learning the sciences in the early years to develop a better understanding of their world through music-inspired free play.
- Faculty of Humanities