In the world as it is evolving, less and less time is let for children to play. However, following amongst others the work of Vygotski, we argue that free play is essential for the child’s development dialectically linked with more structured learning at school (Clerc-Georgy, 2015) and often not present outside school anymore either.
Our aim is double. First, we intend to document teachers’ mediations during free play. In fact, a lot of work has been done about the importance of play, but very few on the teachers’ guidance that can help immature play develop into mature play (see for example Bodrova, 2013). Second, our aim is to end up with guidelines that will help future teachers have a better understanding of their role during free play to enhance learning.
According to the historico-cultural paradigm, we implemented a research design in 3 classes in Switzerland: 3 weeks in each class were filmed, 9 interviews made with the teachers and notebooks extensively completed. Multimodal analysis is being conducted on the films, always confronted with the interviews and notebooks.
The 3 teachers we followed, all experts in guiding free play, may have different guiding types but one same pedagogical aim: link this time to some kind of learning, as Pramling Samuelsson & Asplund Carlsson (2008) precisely show is accurate. This communication will allow us to illustrate how these teacher’s mediate free play by presenting the fine analysis of different interactional situations.