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Outdoor play and interaction’s skills in early childhood education: how to measure by using social network analysis

Duque, I. ; Martins, F. ; Clemente, F.M.C.

Journal of Physical Education and Sport Vol. 17, Nº 3, pp. 1 - 7, March, 2017.

ISSN (print): 1582-8131
ISSN (online): 2066-2483

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Abstract
Abstract:

Over the last decade, researches show evidences that the free play and the outdoor activities have positive impact on children, namely on social skills’ development as cooperation. However, the study of children interaction, especially when we want to identify and study a particular type of interaction, like cooperative interaction, requires a reflexion about the most efficient tolls and methods that can be used. With this article we intend to present a first reflective review of mathematical techniques and methods that can be potentially useful in the study of cooperative interactions with children in outdoor free play. Considering the characteristics of outdoor learning environments, which are based on freedom and free play exploitation of nature, the methods used in studies of this nature in indoor environment, tend to be more controlled by adults and more spatially limited, may not be the most effective. We intend to demonstrate that it is necessary to create a combination of mathematical techniques and methods based on the social network analysis, given the specificity of the educational outdoor environment or the space level and the dynamics of activities that there are usually generated.

Key Words: - Graph theory, adjacency matrix, network, outdoor play environment, cooperative skills, early childhood