Dancing with the devil or a means to fulfil potential? Enumeration and playwork

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Numbers are powerful. However, the perception pervades in playwork that enumeration is less important than narrative, while some even view that quantification is without merit and may even be oppressive. In this chapter, it is argued that playworkers - as well as the playwork profession as a whole - need to work with number in order to achieve the Playwork Principles. It starts by presenting alternative arguments, which suggest that enumeration is not the business of playwork, moving on to challenge these by reviewing the ways in which playwork is enumerated through reflective practice and research. The core argument - that playwork must enumerate - uses the Playwork Principles as a reference point, showing how each principle can be optimised through enumeration. In conclusion, it is argued that the challenge that lies ahead is how to embrace number without losing the prime focus and essence of playwork in facilitating the play process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFurther Perspectives on Researching Play from a Playwork Perspective: Process, Playfulness, Rights-based and Critical Reflection
EditorsPete King, Shelly Newstead
Place of PublicationAbingon
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429401350
ISBN (Print)9781138394179
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Playwork Research


  • play
  • enumeration
  • playwork
  • quantitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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