Playful Learning, Space and Materiality: An Integrative Literature Review

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Teacher edcuation and social education are increasingly challenged to adopt student-centred approaches by focusing on learning spaces and materiality. This study reports on an integrative literature review to determine how space and materiality are approached in the research literature on playful learning in higher education. A thematic analysis of the selected studies was carried out and we identified three themes encompassing playful learning, space and materiality, one with studies explicitly approaching playful learning in higher education, another approaching “materiality as a catalyst for playful learning” and a third with an approach concerning “established educational methods including play, playfulness and materiality”. We conclude that materials are invisible parts of playful learning, space is vaguely explored and no studies on play, learning, space and materiality address teacher education and social education.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)419-432
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Media, communication and languages
  • Playful learning
  • higher education
  • literature review
  • materiality
  • space
  • teacher education and social education
  • education, professions and jobs


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