Rough and Tumble Play and Gender in Kindergarten: Perceptions of Kindergarten Teachers

Gerasimos S Koustourakis, Christina Rompola, Anna Asimaki


The first purpose of this research, which was carried out using questionnaire and semi-structures interview, was to examine the types of Rough and Tumble Play (RTP) that are played in the Greek kindergarten school. The second aim of this study was to identify the kindergarten teachers' perceptions on RTP as well as their reactions in the cases that pupils are engaged in RTP in their schools. The types of RTP that pinpointed in the Greek kindergarten schools were verbal teasing, punching and hitting with or without physical contact, fighting/wrestling, pile on, chasing, spinning, tickling, rolling around, open hand slapping and protect - rescue games. The findings of the research, in which 67 female kindergarten teachers took part, suggested that the forms of RTP that include competition and intense physical contact are played almost exclusively by boys. More specifically these types of RTP are fighting/wrestling, punching and hitting, open hand slapping and pile on, which, according to the kindergarten teachers, correspond to boys and they put them in the list of the forbidden plays, as reported by the school rules they establish in their schools. Thus, when the kindergarten teachers realize that their students play some of the specific RTP intervene in order to stop it, so that there is not a possibility of injury.

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