An exploration of today’s constraints surrounding unsupervised outdoor play for children, and how this could affect their development and ability to risk take

Newman, Natalie Rose (2015) An exploration of today’s constraints surrounding unsupervised outdoor play for children, and how this could affect their development and ability to risk take. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation begins by acknowledging a drastic decline in children’s outdoor unsupervised play in contemporary Britain. It attempts to answer the research question of whether this modern childhood, which is very different from previous generations, will affect children’s development or ability to assess risky decisions in later life. The study explores the notion of childhood, play and risk, debating different perceptions and approaches that parents may take. It also presents an argument regarding whether play and risk are natural universal concepts that children innately seek, or whether they are in fact socially constructed. The study compares previous generations, where children had the freedom to play outdoors and learn about the community they live in, with a large proportion of today’s children who are driven from school to their next supervised, ‘educational’ activity. There have been changes in society which has meant that fear has become a common discourse surrounding childhood. Additionally, there have been broad shifts in family life. These together have meant that parents may be restricting their children’s ability to socialise, learn about their environment, risk take, problem solve, negotiate and much more. This dissertation argues that many children growing up in Britain today are being over protected, which is helping to create a generation of children that may be deprived of learning vital skills needed to tackle everyday risks. This is because many children are not being given access to experiences needed to develop their resilience and become independent, capable young people. The argument suggests that without these skills to overcome risky situations, children are being put at greater risk of becoming victims to the very dangers that adults are trying so hard to protect them from.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Education and Childhood Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2015 14:32
    Last Modified: 16 Jul 2015 14:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/17734

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