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Revista Educación

On-line version ISSN 2215-2644Print version ISSN 0379-7082


SANCHEZ-DOMINGUEZ, Juan Pablo; CASTILLO ORTEGA, Sara Esther  and  HERNANDEZ LOPEZ, Betzaida Marimel. Play as Representation of Sign in Preschool Children: A Sociocultural Approach. Educación [online]. 2020, vol.44, n.2, pp.331-347. ISSN 2215-2644.

From a sociocultural Vygotskian perspective, higher psychological processes have a social origin. In other words, the subject realizes that the aforementioned processes are in operation when he or she engages in shared activities with others. In the same theoretical sense, play is an activity that guides a child´s development and which engages the child´s basic mental function and elevates it to a higher mental function. This process is dependent upon engagement with another child who is more capable and facilitates appropriate signs or tools for mediation. According to many authors who support the Vigotskian theory, in the school classroom, the teacher is responsible for consciously planning play strategies that will require the child to strengthen the necessary signs to support their cognitive development. The goal of this study is to describe how children at play represent signs among a group of 45 preschoolers. A qualitative approach was used based on an interpretative case study modality. The children were observed in a classroom and results recorded in a field journal. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the class teacher and the school principal. Results were discussed through content analysis. Although the staff that was interviewed defined children´s play as a teaching method they used as part of their daily lessons, little emphasis was made on play when compared to pedagogical activities. Teachers must acknowledge that play is an essential aspect of a child´s education. Daily school activities must incorporate play with clear objectives and flexible work plans to intentionally encourage the use of signs.

Keywords : Children's Play; Sign; Sociocultural Theory; Preschool Education.

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