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Gaining insights into young people's playful wellbeing in woodland through art-based action research

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As part of the Good from Woods research project exploring the wellbeing outcomes of time spent in woodland-based activity, an artist-practitioner undertook research for over 18 months to explore the benefits of outdoor play. Using techniques that encouraged young people playing outdoors to collaborate in the research, data generation took place within a managed woodland adventure play area in a neighbourhood challenged by multiple deprivation. This article explores how arts practice as action research can help to capture and represent how young people aged 7 to 15 feel about themselves and their free play. The research methodology was able to encompass playwork practitioners' principles for child-led activity and perspectives that understand play as an art form. However, tensions can be found in the use of such an approach and generation of analysis and findings comparable to investigative frameworks used in other wellbeing research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: April 2015

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Playwork Practice aims to advance playwork research and practice by providing the first ever interdisciplinary platform for the publication and dissemination of scholarship relevant to playwork practice. The Journal of Playwork Practice bridges the playwork theory-practice divide by facilitating practitioner access to research relevant to their practice, and enables researchers interested in 'playwork' to access a hitherto inaccessible field of practice and its literature.

    The Journal of Playwork Practice was published by Policy Press from 2014 to 2017, and will return with its new publisher as the International Journal of Playwork Practice in 2019. Further information is available at:

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