Impact: A Journal of Community and Cultural Inquiry in Education


This study explores teacher and parent perceptions of children’s imaginative (pretend) play as an avenue for learning and the implication of digital media use. In this study, 100 teachers and 130 parents (n = 230) of one- to five-year-olds completed a survey expressing their views on play, children’s exposure to digital media, and observations of children’s learning and development. Observations of children’s learning and development focused specifically on creativity, executive function skills, problem solving, and social interactions. Findings indicate that generally parents and teachers value play, children have greater exposure to digital media at home (versus school), and observations of children’s development vary between teachers and parents. Varying degrees of exposure to media did not produce significant differences in observations of children’s development, however, the function or purpose of media use was not accounted for. This study represents a shared perspective among parents and teachers about the value of play but varying implementation of media use.