Stella Lungu, Beatrice Matafwali


The study sought to explore the nature of play-based teaching and learning at Early Childhood Education (ECE) Centres in Zambia from the perspective of teachers. A case study design was employed with a qualitative approach to collect data from participants. Data was coded and grouped according to emerging themes. Results indicate that children were engaged in both conventional and indigenous play activities mainly through free play. Teachers demonstrated a positive perspective of play based learning, asserting that play based pedagogy benefits children holistically. Implementation of play varied across ECE Centres with some teachers integrating play in the delivery of lessons and others engaged children in play activities only during the time allocated for play time on the timetable. Notable challenges faced by teachers were lack of age appropriate play infrastructure that supported learning, lack of implementation guidelines, and curriculum overload. The study has recommended the need for the Ministry of General Education to put in place guidelines on play based teaching and learning in ECE.

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