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Play Histories of Seniors Seen Through Their Life Stories: Seniors' Playful Art Education


Play Histories of Seniors Seen Through Their Life Stories: Seniors' Playful Art Education

Lefevre, Kathleen Victoria (2017) Play Histories of Seniors Seen Through Their Life Stories: Seniors' Playful Art Education. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This research asks: (a) how does the playful art education of three senior citizens in Montreal, who are ages sixty-five and over, relate to their stories of play from different developmental stages of life, and (b) how do each of these seniors define their play today? This study addresses the absence of play theory’s application to seniors’ art education. I observed, recorded, and analyzed play at three, distinct, art education settings for Montreal seniors. Observational visits to each site, and audio recorded interviews capturing glimpses of each participant’s “play history” provided insight into what play in art education means to each of the participants. This allowed details to emerge about each participant’s definition of play as a senior. My analysis looked at the meaning of these definitions within the context of each senior’s unique play history that she provided through stories. Stories allowed the participants’ voices to be amplified in this study. It is important that seniors’ voices are heard because Canada has a rising senior population that it must better support (Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 2013). Understanding how seniors define their play could help develop seniors’ playful art centred education (SPACE) as a form of support for the elderly. This research concludes that most of the participants’ past and present play experiences were: (a) highly individualized, (b) social, (c) culturally informed, (d) connected to nature, family, and income, and (e) intertwined with play histories. Yet, more research is needed to see how far these patterns extend across larger and more diverse senior populations. Play theory must work towards distinguishing non-seniors’ adult play from seniors’ play. Art education programs may be able to enhance seniors’ play by using seniors’ play histories as springboards for curriculum development, but caution is warranted here due to how much seniors’ play could be based on personal play preferences and individual temperaments.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lefevre, Kathleen Victoria
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art Education
Date:26 May 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Pariser, David
ID Code:982576
Deposited By: Kathleen Lefevre
Deposited On:17 Nov 2017 18:31
Last Modified:12 Sep 2018 22:18
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