This paper presents findings from The Irish Neighbourhood Play Study; a national, cross-border research project which recorded children’s play patterns in Ireland during 2012. The study incorporated 1688 families across 240 communities. This study recorded the play patterns of children in Ireland aged birth-14 years. The findings of the study are discussed here in the context of gendered patterns. Particular emphasis is placed on the skill differences developed through various play choices. These differences are explored within the context of established literature on the learning strengths of boys and girls. Established bodies of literature on children’s learning across gender lines has long been engaged in the debate about whether these differences are biological or socially constructed. This paper offers a parallel question; Are gender differences within learning, constructed through play choices within childhood?

©IATED (2017). Reproduced in Research Online with permission.


The Irish Neighbourhood Play Study, play, early childhood education, gender, gender and play, gender socialisation

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