Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

Image of Matilda Stickley

Matilda Stickley

Research student, Faculty of Social Sciences


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Socio-dramatic play in infant classrooms

Research summary

My research is on the dramatic play behaviours which children display in Reception and Year 1 classes. Dramatic play involves children taking on a role of a fictional character or archetypal figure, and using dialogue, interaction and props to create a narrative or role-play. Through ethnographic observation, I explore how social relationships are developing in the classroom and in what ways children express their understanding of friendships, family roles and gender through role-play. Whilst exploring current research into the effects of socio-dramatic play, the project will consider how drama practitioners can draw from children's play to create engaging participatory drama. My research is presented through rich description, which gives a reflective and emotionally affecting account of children experiencing the transition into formal schooling. The research will contribute to the continually debated area of the Early Years and Primary curriculum, which holds a central role in developing essential skills for life in young learners.

Research Supervisors

Anton Franks Christine Hall

Primary Funding Source

ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

Research Centre

Centre for Research Arts, Creativity and Literacy

Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 4507