Using play to help families learn: evaluation of Trafford Hall’s Playing 2 Learn programme 2008-11
AbstractThe report describes the results of a three-year evaluation by LSE Housing and Communities of a family learning programme called Playing 2 Learn. The Playing 2 Learn programme was open to vulnerable families from low income communities across England. It was delivered by a charity, Trafford Hall, home of the National Communities Resource Centre between 2008 and 2011. It consisted of 26 residential weekend events with 795 adult and child family members from a total of 205 families attending. The weekends used creative, low cost play activities to promote play-based learning. The evaluation used baseline data collected by the programme, self-reported short-, medium- and longer-term outcomes based on written feedback from 62% of participating families, in-depth interviews with the purposive sample of 20 families, assessments from referral agencies, interviews with delivery staff, and observations of the residential events. It finds that the families participating in the programme experienced a series of pressures that undermined their ability to engage positively and spend time with their children at home, including family breakdown and formation, pressures of lowincomes, health and behavioural issues. Outcomes for families from the programme were assessed under four themes. First, there was improved family interaction over the short-, medium- and longer-terms, for example reading together and doing messy play. Second, parents’ and carers’ attitudes towards and input into children’s opportunities for play were also improved, including getting new ideas for affordable play activities and continuing to use them up to two years after attending the weekends. To the extent that the evaluation was able to measure, the impacts on younger children’s ability to learn were much more limited. Fourthly, there were positive impacts on parents’ and carers’ participation in the community for around a quarter of respondents, and wider impacts on parents’ and carers’ self-esteem and confidence, primarily through the support of meeting other families in similar situations. The report concludes that the value of the residential setting was to help families to experience new challenges. The experiential hands-on approach helped to generate long-lasting impacts. Many of the families on the programme were going through tough times that play alone could not resolve. The Programme succeeded in its goals to be a ‘snapshot removed from the everyday’, on which families could draw for inspiration when they return to their often challenging daily lives.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51295.
Length: 64 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
family intervention; family learning; play; vulnerable families; evaluation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lucy Ayre).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.