Learning through play is a universal concept that has been studied and applied since the 1800’s. Various theorists, scholars and authors have provided information and research on why learning through play is the best way for young children to learn.
In South Africa there is a dilemma on implementing learning through play due to various influences and contributing factors. That is why this study gained insight into how preschool teachers understand and implement learning through play.
The conceptual framework of this study used different lenses of looking at learning through play. These lenses were established by reviewing the relevant literature. The conceptual framework was then used to structure questions and methods for use during the collection of the data. The data was summarised, organised and eventually analysed.
This study applied a qualitative case study design to investigate five preschool teachers’ experiences, ideas and conceptions of learning through play. Data was collected from these preschool teachers through semi-structured interviews, documents (photovoices and lesson plans) and journal keeping (field notes). The data analyses and findings support the themes and subthemes that emerged. The findings suggest that preschool teachers are in favour of learning through play, but due to various influences and factors it is not always implemented successfully.