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The process of preschool childrens' participating in competitive and cooperative board games
competitive board game
cooperative board game
games with rules
This study aimed to explore five-year-old preschool children’s involvement in competitive board games and cooperative board games, including the process of childrens’ acquisition of these two types of board games, game strategies and performance, encountered difficulties and learning. In addition, the difference and similarity in childrens’ performance on these two types of board games were also analyzed. This study took a qualitative approach, recruiting 19 children at senior kindergarten as participants. From 8：30 to 9：00 o’clock in the morning from Monday to Thursday from February 20th to June 9th 2017, children were observed at the learning corner for an half hour; data were collected by videotaping and recording. Researchers then wrote observation and reflection journals and collect relevant documentary data. Findings based on data analyses are summarized as follows: 1. Children engaged in competitive board games and adopted strategies step by step, gradually progressing into a better situation. (1) The process of childrens’ involvement in competitive board game can be classified as follows: trial stage, rule-learning stage, rule-comprehension and internalization stage, and rule-mastery stage. These childrens’ development in playing board games gradually matured with their progress in understanding rules. (2) In playing competitive board games, children encountered difficulties and learning in the rule-learning stage, and rule-comprehension and internalization stage. (3) Strategies that children adopted in playing competitive board games included: a. point-earning strategy; b. ostracizing strategy; c. game-board evaluation. 2. Children engaged in cooperative board game and adopted strategies step by step, gradually progressing into a better situation. (1) The process of childrens’ involvement in cooperative board game can be classified as follows: trial stage, rule-learning stage, rule-comprehension and internalization stage, and rule-mastery stage. These children development in playing board games gradually matured with their progress in understanding rules. (2) In playing competitive board games, children encountered difficulties and learning in the rule-learning stage. (3) Strategies that children adopted in playing cooperative board games included: a. arrangement of path cards; b. counterbalancing using dessert card; c. game-board evaluation. 3. In terms of the process and strategies used in competitive and cooperative board game children engaged in, there were differences and similarities. (1) Similarities between the two included: a. Both games had identical processes. b.The acquisition of rules was based on the accumulation of game experience; the difficulties that these infants encountered were also identical. c. Performance strategies included game-board evaluation and inviting a companion to play the game together. (2)Differences between the two included: a. difficulties and learning that infants encountered when acquiring rules occurred in the rule-learning stage and rule-comprehension and internalization stage in playing competitive board games, and in rule-learning stage when playing cooperative board games. Therefore, it took less time for children to master a game when playing cooperative board games than playing competitive board games. b. Decision makers in a game determine the development and result of the game. Decision making in a competitive board was made at an individual level, while it required multiple decision-makers in cooperative board games. c. In terms of the strategies that children adopted: children could integrate two strategies into one in playing competitive board games, but could not use combined strategies in playing cooperative board game. 4. When playing competitive or cooperative board games, children did not necessarily compete or cooperate with each other. Based on childrens’ performance on these two types of board games, results found that: a. competitor-cooperator: when children played competitive board games, they also demonstrated altruistic behaviors to their competitors. b. Cooperator- competitor: when children played cooperative board games, unpleasant atmosphere consequential to inconsistent opinions also occurred. c. Flexibility: it is flexible to change the rules for board games. Finally, based on research conclusions, recommendations were provided targeting at future research on competitive or cooperative board games in the future.
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