How important is the role of early childhood educator during outdoor play to facilitate physical activity? An Australian case study

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


There is increasing recognition around the world of the positive role of physical activity in earlychildhood settings. Research has shown that early childhood engagement with Physical Education(PE) and physical activity provides benefit in a range of capabilities including physical wellness aswell critical thinking, social /emotional skills and the development of fundamental motor skills.Play based learning is emerging as a recognised way to effectively implement PE in early yearseducation to support and develop children’s engagement in active experiences. There is also anemerging body of literature recognising that the role of the educator as facilitator in this process iscrucial. Research also suggests that play based programs provide a sound foundation for laterschool success and help young learners to become socially competent.This chapter will explore the role of PE and physical activity in early childhood from an Australiancontext and examine how play can impact on the physical activity and educational activitiesengaged in by children in an early childcare setting. This chapter will consider how play, specificallyoutdoor play is influenced by the role the educator takes on in the playground and how theperceptions and beliefs of the educator can potentially influence the physical activity levels ofchildren in their care. To unpack these notions the chapter will explore two case sites aligned withthe work of Tribolet (2016) that focus on the developmental period (ages 3-5 years also referredto as Transition) which has been identified as a critical stage for both mental and physicaldevelopment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhysical education in early childhood education and care
Subtitle of host publicationResearches – best practices – situation
EditorsBranislav Antala, Giyasettin Demirhan, Attilio Carraro, Cagla Oktar, Hakan Oz, Adriana Kaplánová
Place of PublicationBratislava
PublisherSlovak Scientific Society for Physical Education and Sport and FIEP
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9788089075812
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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