Playworlds: A Recently emerging form of adult-child joint play

Playworlds (Lindqvist, 1995) are a form of adult-child joint play in which adults and children enter into a common fantasy that is designed to support the development of both adults and children. Playworlds are inspired by Vygotsky’s theories of imagination, creativity and the psychology of art, as well as by the work of many other researchers and scholars and by the practice of playworlds in various local settings. Playworlds complicate traditional dichotomies between, and make visible for empirical research, such key psychological processes as cognition and emotion, and imagination and creativity.

In 2003 playworld researchers from Finland, Japan, Sweden and the United States were able to work together for several months at LCHC. We staged and studied the first U.S. playworld, and after getting to know each other as hedgehogs, witches and a hut on chicken legs we received support to create an ongoing and unique collaborative process. We named this process the International Playworld Network (IPWNW), and this network has succeeded in fostering the international, interdisciplinary, interprofessional and intergenerational collaboration in playworld research that we believe is fundamental to the study of many of our various research topics.

The IPWNW spans many different research subjects, methods and questions. All of the playworlds that we study can be described as combinations of adult forms of creative imagination (art, science, etc.), which require extensive experience, with children’s forms of creative imagination (play), which require the embodiment of ideas and emotions in the material world (Vygtosky’s “pivot”). However, the play that we study looks utterly different from one research site to another: adult and child war refugees perform fairy tales, one year old children in a preschool become plants, over a hundred children create a mud mountain with a famous sculptor who has chosen to co-create his next work of art with these child collaborators. Our methods span film-play, in which participants manipulate data to produce short films which recreate their own emotional involvement in playworlds, and traditional quantitative methods, for instance the pre and post testing of specific academic skills. And our research questions range from practice-oriented to both empirically and theoretically driven research-oriented questions, and also include questions which span these categories: How can we address the decrease in motivation that occurs when children enter school? Does adult-child joint play increase narrative competence?; How could one make perezhivanie visible for study?, What is the relationship between play and learning in preschool didactics?; What is agency? Can play contribute to the methodological project of challenging the divide between method and object in conventional social science?; and, as an example of a research question which spans these categories, How would we define the field of preschool didactics, and why?

The playworlds that have been studied by members of the IPWNW have thus far been located in Japan, Finland, Sweden, the former Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Russia and the United States. Since 2003 we have been corresponding and meeting irregularly but consistently, in various configurations, to visit each others’ playworld research sites or translate seminal writing into English, to conduct joint research and/or joint analysis of our data, and to collaboratively present our work at conferences and in publications. We have held two international playworld conferences, the most recent of which took place at Jönköping University in Sweden in November 2013. This recent conference was called to support international collaboration in analysis of data generated in a two-year long Swedish research project that was designed to study the relationship between play and learning through playworlds, and this conference was explicitly designed in response to the international shift in focus towards learning in preschools. And we have jointly presented our playworld research at several international, national and local conferences: Congress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research, 2005, 2008, 2011; Nordic Conference on Cultural and Activity Research, 2007, 2010, 2013; Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011; Joint Conference of the International Play Association/USA and Association for the Study of Play, 2007, 2010; Annual Ethnography in Education Research Forum, Philadelphia, 2010; Love and Education Conference of the University of Belgrade, Belgrade, 2010; International Drama in Education Research Institute, Limerick, 2012; and the Imaginative Education Research Group International Conference, 2014, etc.

Please see our descriptions of our international playworld research, and our list of publications:


There are two Playworld projects in Japan. The first takes place at the Ibi Kindergarten in Gifu prefecture ; the second in Miharu Kindergarten in Sapporo.

The first is “Hakken to Boken” project, or “the discovery and the adventure” project of Ibi kindergarten. Art and imaginative play are two central activities of the “Hakken to Boken” project. Ibi practitioners believe that these two activities are arenas on which children commit exploration of the real and imagined worlds and that children’s experiences of explorations are vital to facilitate their development.

A theme of the year is set for a one-year curriculum in “Hakkenn to Boken”. It ass “light, feather and wind” in the year 2012-2013 and “weaving, connecting speeches” in the year 2011 - 2012. These rather abstract themes stimulate children and teachers to collaboratively develop various kinds of imaginative play throughout the year, which sets the stage for other activities, including art-related activities. Of the many art-related activities the most important is the art class of children’s last 4 months in the kindergarten, in which children pursue one artwork. Some of children’s artworks can be seen here: One special feature of art-related activities of “Hakken to Boken” is the participation of professional artists. In each year, artist(s) of different genres, from a world famous installation artist to young contemporary dancers, is invited for an art workshop with the children. The aim is to make children and teachers encounter the creative work of the professional artist(s).

Ibi practitioners believe that teachers’ active commitment is vital to the development of the children’s activities in “Hakken to Boken.” In particular, teachers should take an interest and get excited in the worlds, both real and imagined, which children experience in their art, play and other activities. Their views on art, play, child development, and teacher’s role, have been developed over the 30 years since the kindergarten’s founing and are not the adoption of any theory. However, their views have many similarities with Vygotsky’s theory on the role of imagination in children’s development, Wartofsky’s view on art as experimentation, and Bakhtin’s view on dialogue as unfinalizeble encounter.

A second Japanese playworld project is the Kodomo project, located in an after school program in a kindergarten that is connected to College of Arts (Department of Education) at Rikkyo University: The Kodomo project attempts to develop afterschool preschool programs around a core play curriculum that challenges a recent tendency of educational policy to interpret play as a hindrance to early formal education learning despite the fact that our evidence indicates quite the opposite.

The primary researchers in the Japanese playworld projects are Kiyotaka Miyazaki of Waseda University for the “Hakken to Boken” project, and Hiroaki Ishiguro of Rikkyo University and Yuki Fujino of Sapporo Gakuin University for the Kodomo project.

Children constructing the mud mountain with the sculptor Takeshi Hayashi.

Children dancing with the dancer Naoka Uemura.

Children playing as bugs.

A boy concentrating on his picture.

Note: All photos from Ibi project.


During the past ten years several different playworlds have been designed and developed in Finland. The origins of the Finnish playworlds lie in the work of Pentti Hakkarainen, particularly his theory of narrative learning (see Hakkarainen, 2004; 2008). Finnish playworlds are also inspired by Lindqvist’s (1995) play pedagogy and Michael Cole’s fifth dimension model (Cole, 1996). In the Finnish playworlds it has been customary for the practitioners themselves (teachers or pre-service teachers) to take the leading role in developing, designing and acting out the playworlds. For example, the playworld pedagogy has been actively implemented in multi-age classrooms for four to eight year old children by multi-professional teacher teams. Playworlds have also been used in the training of the pre-service teachers in the Kajaani Teacher Education Center. The Finnish playworlds have included the enactment of stories such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, Brothers Lionheart and the Narnia stories.

The research on playworlds in Finland has been taken in two different directions. The first branch of the research focuses on the psychological effects of adult-child joint play on children’s development and general abilities, such as school readiness (see i.e., Hakkarainen, 1999; 2004; 2006; 2008 and Hakkarainen et al., 2009). For more information about this work see (Pentti’s website -- ).

The second branch of the research applies a more socio-culturally oriented critical research tradition to the study of adult-child interaction in playworlds (see Rainio, 2010). These studies have focused particularly on the development and manifestations of children’s agency and voice in playworld activities (Rainio 2008a; 2007 and Hofmann & Rainio, 2007) and on the challenges occurring in the playworld classrooms based on the contradictory relationship between teacher control and management and student agency (see Rainio, 2010; 2008b). Playworlds have also been analyzed from a critical gender perspective by Rainio (2009).

In Finland playworlds have been mainly studied using ethnography-inspired qualitative methods such as video-based interaction research and discourse analysis. Lately, the playworlds methodology has been applied to youth work through the study of theater workshops and rap music workshops within foster care (Rainio & Marjanovic-Shane, 2013; Känkänen & Rainio, 2010).

The primary researchers of playworlds in Finland are Pentti Hakkarainen, Milda Predikyte and Anna Pauliina Rainio, Assistant Professor at the School of Education at the University of Helsinki..


In Sweden it was Gunilla Lindqvist (1995) who developed a pedagogy, which she called a creative pedagogy of play, and playworld projects through which she examined the relationship between art and play. She studied children's meaning making in play that was inspired and permeated by various aesthetic expressions. Together with pre-school teachers she created playworlds based on children's literature, storytelling, music, dance, and other aesthetic and artistic forms.

At a very general level these playworlds can be described as a combination of adult forms of creative imagination, which requires extensive experience, with children's forms of creative imagination, which requires the incarnation of ideas and their feelings in the material world. These playworlds also create an opportunity for children to encourage adults to participate with them in play, while adults are engaged in encouraging children in dialogue to participate in arts and sciences. A preschool in Lindqvist's project in Karlstad/Sweden would turn into Villa Villekulla or Moominvalley (the setting of famous Swedish/Finish children’s books) during the course of a semester. In these new worlds different figures emerged, portrayed by educators and children. These productions, inspiring children and teachers to engage in joint play and experiences, were then further expanded and deepened by the children in their free play.

In these playworlds, play became an arena that offered the children the opportunity to create meaning in the encounter between their inner and outer worlds (Lindqvist, 1995), sometimes in dialogue with other children, sometimes in dialogue with teachers and sometimes in dialogue with themselves. However, the Swedish preschool has undergone profound changes since a new curriculum was introduced in 1998. The focus has increasingly come to be, as it is in other western countries, on learning, and specifically on learning in relation to “academic” subjects such as math, science and language: Play no longer has the same status in the Swedish preschool as it once had.

However, there is some fascinating post-modern practice and scholarship in Sweden which does not ask why children play but instead stresses the value of play in and of itself. These scholars and practitioners see play as a dialogical meeting, a rebellion against authority or as life itself (see for example Steinholt, 2000; Øksnes, 2011), and are therefore critical of the way play is discussed in the revised national preschool curriculum. As learning in preschool emerges as the primary focus, there is a need to problematize and understand play, which has previously been a hallmark of the preschool, in new ways and particularly in its relation to learning and teaching.

Towards this end, a two year research project, beginning in 2013, will attempt to understand and learn about what happens to children, educators and educational activities when a particular play-based activity which is sympathetic to some post-modern critiques, playworlds, is introduced in a preschool that can be described as having postmodern overtones, i.e., a Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool guided by learning as "exploratory".  This pedagogy of exploration holds that children have and develop theories and hypotheses about the world that should be considered to be equally possible to those of adults (Lenz Taguchi, 2009). Our hope is that we can transcend the impass between learning and play as competing foci of preschools, and also that we can better understand what happens in playworlds, if we explore the meeting of the adult-child joint play activity of playworlds and this “exploratory learning” setting. The project also raises the question of whether exploratory learning and play should be understood as different (leading) activities or as a unified activity.

Researchers in this recent Swedish playworld project are Monica Nilsson of the University of Jönköping, Beth Ferholt of Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Anders Jansson of the University of Jönköping and Karin Alnervik of the University of Jönköping (website coming soon).

United States

Playworld projects in the United States have always been the product of international playworld collaboration at the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition. These playworlds developed out of the work of Pentti Hakkarainen of Finland and Gunilla Lindqvist of Sweden, but were also initially shaped through the guidance of Kiyotaka Miyasaki of Japan and indirectly but profoundly influenced at their inception by the work of Sanda Marjanovic of the former Yugoslavia. In these playworld projects children and adults bring a piece of children's literature to life through scripted and improvisational acting, costume and set design, and multimodal rehearsal and reflection.

There have been six playworlds to date in the U.S., one in a preschool classroom and five in two elementary school classrooms. The child participants have been between four and nine years of age, and, as many of these playworlds have taken place in schools that are located on military bases, many child participants have been children of soldiers. The literature in which these playworlds have been based has included the fairy tales of BabaYaga, C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. 

Evidence from the LCHC playworlds that has been analyzed to date demonstrate that participation in a playworld improves children's narrative and literacy skills (Baumer, S., Ferholt, B. & Lecusay, R., 2005) and that playworlds can lead to the socio-emotional development of both adults and children (Ferholt, 2009; Ferholt & Lecusay, 2010). Analysis of this data has also been used to expand Vygotsky’s concept of the zone of proximal development to include development of adults participating in the zone with the child (Ferholt & Lecusay, 2010: Adult and Child Development in the Zone of Proximal Development: Socratic Dialogue in a Playworld) and has included distributed cognition analysis of playworlds (Lecusay, 2006: A Distributed Cognition Analysis of a Playworld Event ). Cross-cultural projects which include U.S. playworld work include a study of imagination and the use of psychological tools in playworlds that were created in different countries but were based in the same work of literature (Hakkarainen & Ferholt, 2012); collaborative analysis of agency in a U.S. playworld (with Anna Rainio, in process); a collaborative introduction of the work of Sanda Marjanovic to an English-reading audience (Marjanovic-Shane et al., forthcoming); the development of an upcoming Swedish playworld research project which will take place from 2013 through 2015 (described above); a playworld conference (“Japanese and U.S. Experiences with Informal Learning Environments: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Learning and Development through Art and Play,” San Diego, CA, November 4–10, 2006) and the one article – listed first, below – that is authored by almost all current members of the IPWNW (Marjanovic-Shane et al., 2011: “Playworlds: An Art of development”).

Work in progress also focuses on the fact that U.S. playworlds have provided unique evidence of the synergy between emotion and cognition, a notoriously difficult process to study, but also one recognized to be of central importance to cognitive and social development. This work includes a study of perezhivanie (or “intensely- emotional-lived-through-experience”) in a playworld (Ferholt, 2009: The Development of Cognition, Emotion, Imagination and Creativity As Made Visible through Adult-Child Joint Play: Perezhivanie through Playworlds; Ferholt, forthcoming: Perezhivanie in Researching Playworlds: Applying the Concept of Perezhivanie in the Study of Play), the development of a methodology which allows the elusive phenomenon of perezhivanie to be made available for analysis in its full, dynamic complexity in part through the use of synthetic-analytic methods of representation that themselves evoke and manifest perezhivanie (Ferholt, 2010); and a study which focuses on perezhivanie of adult participants in a playworld (Ferholt, in process). An effort is being made to make several of our findings accessible to practitioners in many fields and to others who work and play with children, without these findings losing their necessary complexity (Ferholt, 2011).

The primary researchers in the U.S. playworld projects have included Sonja BaumerBeth FerholtRobert Lecusay and Lars Rossen, all of whom were studying and working at LCHC during the first U.S playworld project.

The Former Yugoslavia

The role of play and creativity in human development and in education was intensively studied in the pre-war Yugoslavia during the 1970s and 80s. One of the most prominent researchers of children's play and creativity at that time was Sanda Marjanovic, professor at the University of Belgrade. She organized numerous research studies and inspired colleagues, students and practitioners working with pre-school children to develop and study play and art-based educational programs. As part of these studies, several creative programs based on play, drama and art were organized for children of all ages in Belgrade. As mentioned above, a recent initiative is under way to publish a monograph in English that would document and represent this seminal Yugoslav research and the creative programs of the 70s and 80s, their subsequent transformations under the war time years, and their influence on Serbia's post-war educational policies.

The success of this playworld approach became especially evident in the extreme crisis caused by the wars in Yugoslavia in the 90s. One of the most successful intervention and healing programs for child war refugees started in July and August of 1992.  Summer camp “Let’s Live Together” was designed for children refugees who experienced various traumatic events, to help them “regain their childhood”, i.e. to help them to continue to develop emotionally, intellectually and socially. 

The primary current researcher of playworlds that took place in the former Yugoslavia is Ana Marjanovic-Shane of Chestnut College, PA.

A Partial List of Publications:

Marjanovic-Shane, A., Ferholt, B., Miyazaki, K., Nilsson, M., Rainio, A. P., Beljanski Ristić, L., Pešić, M. (2011). Playworlds - An Art of Development. In C. Lobman & B. O'Neill (Eds.), Play, Performance, Learning and Development: Exploring Relationship (Vol. 11): Play and Culture Series.

Connery, M. C., John-Steiner, V., & Marjanovic-Shane, A. (Eds.). (2010). Vygotsky and creativity: a cultural-historical approach to play, meaning making, and the arts. New York: Peter Lang.

Baumer, S. (2013). Play Pedagogy and Playworlds. Encyclopedia of Early Childhood Development. Published on line:

Baumer, S., Ferholt, B., & Lecusay, R. (2005). Promoting narrative competence through adult-child joint pretense: Lessons from the Scandinavian educational practice of playworld. Cognitive Development, 20, 576-590.

Ferholt, B. (forthcoming). Perezhivanie in Researching Playworlds: Applying the Concept of Perezhivanie in the Study of Play. In S. Davis, Ferholt, B., Grainger Clemson, H., Jansson, Satu-Marie and Marjanovic-Shane, Ana (Eds.) Dramatic Interactions in Education: Vygotskian and Socio-Cultural Approaches to Drama, Education and Research. London: Bloomsbury.

Ferholt, B. (2010). A multiperspectival analysis of creative imagining: Applying Vygotsky’s method of literary analysis to a playworld. In C. Connery, V. John-Steiner and A. Marjanovic-Shane (Eds.), Vygotsky and Creativity: A Cultural-Historical Approach to Play, Meaning-Making and the Arts. New York: Peter Lang.

Ferholt, B., and Lecusay, R. (2010). Adult and child development in the zone of proximal development: Socratic dialogue in a Playworld. Mind Culture and Activity, 17:1, 59-83.

Ferholt, B. (2009). Adult and Child Development in Adult-Child Joint Play: the Development of Cognition, Emotion, Imagination and Creativity in Playworlds. University of California, San Diego.

Hakkarainen, P. & Ferholt, B. (2013). Imagination and psychological tools in playworlds. In K. Egan and A. Cant. (Eds.), Wonder-Full Education. New York: Routledge.

Hakkarainen, P., Peppanen, T., Safarov, I., & Vuorinen, M.-L. (2009). Professional development through narrative teaching and learning. Submitted to ISATT.

Hakkarainen, P. (2008). The challenges and possibilities of narrative learning approach in the Finnish early childhood education system. International Journal of Educational Research, 47(5), 292-300.

Hakkarainen, P. (2006). Learning and Development in Play. In J. Einarsdottir & J. T. Wagner (Eds.), Nordic Childhoods and Early Education (pp. 183 - 222). Greenwich, Connecticut: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

Hakkarainen, P. (2004). Narrative Learning in the Kajaani Fifth Dimension. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association 2004 Annual Meeting, San Diego.

Hakkarainen, P. (1999). Play and Motivation. In Y. Engestöm, R. Miettinen & R.-L. Punamäki (Eds.), Perspectives on Activity Theory (pp. 231-249). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hofmann, R., & Rainio, A. P. (2007). "It doesn't matter what part you play, it just matters that you're there." Towards shared agency in narrative play activity in school. In Alanen & S. Pöyhönen (Eds.), Language in action. Vygotsky and Leontievian legacy today. Newcastle-upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pp. 308–328.

Känkänen, P. & Rainio, A.P. (2010). Suojassa, mutta näkyvissä - taidelähtöiset menetelmät osallisuuden rakentajina lastensuojelussa. Nuorisotutkimus 4/2010: 4-20. (Only in Finnish)

Lecusay, 2006: A Distributed Cognition Analysis of a Playworld Event by Robert Lecusay (paper presented at the Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco , CA , April 7-11, 2006 )

Marjanovic-Shane, A. (2011). You are "Nobody"! The three chronotopes of play. In E. J. White & M. Peters (Eds.), Bakhtinian pedagogy: Opportunities and challenges for research, policy and practice in education across the globe (pp. 201-226). New York: Peter Lang Publishers.

Marjanovic-Shane, A. (2011). Čardak ni na nebu ni na zemlji: tri hronotopa igre [A Castle in the Sky: Three Chronotopes of Play]. In I. Graorac (Ed.), Mogućnosti Smislenog Življenja u Vrtiću [Possibilities for a Meaningful Life in a Day Care Center]. Novi Sad, Serbia: Didacta

Marjanovic-Shane, A. (2010). From Yes and No to Me and You: A playful change in relationships and meanings. In C. Connery, V. John-Steiner & A. Marjanovic-Shane (Eds.), Vygotsky and Creativity: A Cultural-historical approach to Play, Meaning Making and the Arts (pp. 41-59). New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc

Marjanovic-Shane, A., Connery, C., & John-Steiner, V. (2010). A Cultural-historical Approach to Creative Education. In C. Connery, V. John-Steiner & A. Marjanovic-Shane (Eds.), Vygotsky and Creativity: A Cultural-historical Approach to Play, Meaning Making and the Arts (pp. 215-232). New York, NY: Peter Lang

Miyazaki, K. & Saki, M. (Eds.) (in press) Hakken to Boken. [Discovery and learning.] Tokyo:Sosei-sha.

Miyazaki, K. (2013) From “Unknown questions” begins a wonderful education: Kyouzai-Kaishaku and the dialogic classroom. In K.Egan, A.Cant, & G. Judson (Eds.) Wonderf-full education: The centrality of wonder in teaching and learning across the curriculum. London:Routledge.

Miyazaki, K., Uemura, N., Kasai, M., Saki, M., Higashimura, T., & Nomura, Y. (2013) Artist ga kodomo ni yotte kawaru toiukotono imi. [Exploring the artists’ transforming experiences by children.] Symposium held at the 24th annual convention of Japan society of developmental psychology, Tokyo.

Miyazaki, K. (2012) Geijutsu kyouiku. [Art education.] In Y.Moro, Aoyama, M.,Ito, T., Kagawa,S., & Okabe, D.(Eds.) Joukyou to katudou no shinrigaku. [Psychology of situation and activity.] Tokyo:Shinyou-sha.

Miyazaki, K., Aikawa, M., Saki, M., Higashimura, T., & Nomura, Y. (2012) Kodomo no tameno art workshop to artist no motsu . [On the “artwork-ness” of the artists and art workshop for children.] Symposium held at the 23rd annual convention of Japan society of developmental psychology, Nagano.

Miyazaki, K., Inoue, H., Saki, M., Higashimura, T., & Nomura, Y. (2011) Kodomo ga art to taimen suru toha douiukotoka-Youchien deno art workshop no hattatu teki igi. [Children’s encounter with art: The developmental implication of art workshop in kindergarten.] Symposium held at the 22nd annual convention of Japan society of developmental psychology, Tokyo.

Miyazaki, K., Miyamoto, M., Saki, M., & Nomura, Y. (2010) Art ni totte kodomo ga iru imi-artist ni totteno youchien deno workshop keiken. [What children contribute to art: Artists’ experience in the art workshop in the kindergarten.] Symposium held at the 21st annual convention of Japan society of developmental psychology, Kobe.

Miyazaki, K. (2009) Kodomo no manabi kyoushi no manabi - Saitou Kihaku and Vygotsky ha kyouikugaku. [Children learn, teacher learn: Kihaku Saitou and Vygotskian pedagogy.] Tokyo: Ikkei-shobou.

Miyazaki, K. (2009) Geijutsu kyouiku. [Art education]. Jidou-shinrigaku no shinpo.[Advances in child psychology] 2009 edtion. pp. 164 - 184.

Miyazaki, K., Uemura, N., Saki, M., & Higashimura, T. (2009) Artist to hoikusha no kyoudou wo saguru- tairitsu to manabi no keiki. [Exploring the collaboration of artists and early childhood education teachers: Opposition and learning.] Symposium held at the 20th annual convention of Japan society of developmental psychology, Tokyo.

Nilsson, M. (2011). Om temaarbeid – med nye öyne (About theme work – (perceived) with new eys) . I Barnehagefolk, nr. 3. (This is an article about the relationship between pw and exploratory learning and the reggio approach in a pre school teacher journal.)

Nilsson, M. (2009). Creative Pedagogy of Play - The Work of Gunilla Lindqvist. I Mind Culture and Activity. Vol 17, No 1, 14-22.

Rainio, A. P., & Marjanovic-Shane, A. (2013). From ambivalence to agency: Becoming an author, an actor and a hero in a drama workshop. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 2(2), 111-125. doi: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2013.04.001

Rainio, A. P. (2012). Leikkien leijonamieleksi. Toimijuuden rakentuminen juonellisessa koulutoiminnassa. Teoksessa L. Karlsson, & R. Karimäki (Toim.) Sukelluksia lapsinäkökulmaiseen tutkimukseen ja toimintaan. Suomen kasvatustieteellinen seura. Kasvatusalan tutkimuksia 57, 107-140. (Only in Finnish)

Rainio, A. P. (2010). Lionhearts of the Playworld. An ethnographic case study of the development of agency in play pedagogy. Studies in Educational Sciences 233. Institute of Behavioural Sciences. University of Helsinki. Doctoral Dissertation. Link:

Rainio, A. P. (2009). Horses, Girls, and Agency: Gender in Play Pedagogy. Outlines – Critical Practice Studies, 1/2009, 27–44.

Rainio, A. P. (2008). From resistance to involvement: Examining agency and control in a playworld activity. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 15(2), 115–140.

Rainio, A. P. (2008). Developing the classroom as a figured world. Journal of Educational Change 9(4), 357–364.

Rainio, A. P. (2007). Ghosts, bodyguards and fighting fillies: Manifestations of pupil agency in play pedagogy. ACTIO: International Journal for Human Activity Theory, 1/2007, 149–160.

Rainio, A. & Siebert, B. (2006). Narratives Lernen in der Entwicklungsorientierten Pädagogik – Ansatzpunkte und Möglichkeiten für den Gemeinsamen Unterricht. Mitteilungen, 2, 6–22. (Only in German)

Rainio, P. (2005). Emergence of a Playworld. The formation of subjects of learning in interaction between adults and children. Working Papers 32/2005. Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research. University of Helsinki.

Song, M., & Miyazaki, K. (2011) Mohou to “imi no torikomi” ni yoru kodomo no souzouteki na byouga no tenkai. [Creative development of picture making in children through imitation and “taking into” of meaning.] Paper presented at the 53rd annual convention of the Japanese association of educational psychology, Sapporo.