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Researching Play: Challenges and Opportunities
Smirnova E.O., Doctor in Psychology, Head of the Center for Psychological and Pedagogical Expertise of Play and Toys, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, email@example.com
Sobkin V.S., Doctor in Psychology, Director of the Centre of Sociology of Education, Institute of Education Management of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org
The paper provides a brief overview of the materials of the International Council for Children’s Play (ICCP) 27th World Play Conference which focused on the problems and opportunities of researching play in modern children. The paper shows the diversity of approaches to the study of child play and its multiple aspects. The main issues discussed at the Conference were as follows: the definition of play; its impact on child development; consistency of research outcomes; specifics of child play in different countries. Many speakers referred in their presentations to Lev Vygotsky and to the cultural-historical approach in general. Questions related to narrative play and its role and ogranisation were of special interest to the participants. Also, one of the major topics were play environments, both indoor and outdoor. Most of the materials presented at the Conference were applied research associated with particular projects or programmes; among the research methods used the most common were case studies and sociological methods. All in all, the Conference proved that researchers all over the world have a keen interest in child play and continue to develop multiple approaches to its understanding and exploration.