Evaluations / Research

Below is some research specifically conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of Play Is The Way® for the development of personal and social capabilities in a primary school setting.

The sample size for each project was small.  Our hope is that the positive results will eventually lead to research on a larger scale.

Play Is The Way® (PITW) In Brief

PITW helps teachers to help students develop the life and learning skills necessary to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.  These skills are often called personal and social capabilities/competencies or pro-social behaviour.  They are essential if children are to reach their academic potential.  They are also the skills we all use to handle ourselves, our relationships and our work effectively and ethically.

PITW uses, 1: Physically interactive, teacher guided games and activities.  2: Five guiding concepts that serve as a moral compass.  3: A self-reflective language that helps students to master their behavior in preparation for a responsible life in a free society.

PITW must filter through the knowledge, skills, experience and personality of an educator to arrive as an interpretation that fits the context of the school or classroom. In not being a prescription it can respond to changing needs while embedding a consistent, school wide culture of behaviour education.

PITW acknowledges that no two schools or classrooms have identical students or needs and that effective personal and social development requires the opportunity for teachers to tailor a process to address the immediate needs and long term goals of their classrooms.

PITW allows schools to create effective and consistent whole school implementation while allowing teachers the necessary input to specifically shape elements of PITW to maximise the development of students in their care.

That said; 

"No program - no matter how sound it is - can have impact if its essential elements are not used."

Yap, K., Aldersebaes, I., Railsback, J., Shaughnessy, J., & Speth, T. (2000)

PITW requires informed guidance and support from school leaders to ensure and maintain fidelity of implementation.  We strongly recommend that schools collect all relevant behaviour data prior to commencing PITW and continue do so as PITW is embedded and maintained.  Schools can expect to see significant improvements in personal and social capabilities within the first year of implementation as guided by the PITW, Implementation Guide and its resources.

  • Plut, M (2015) - Developing Emotional Regulation in the Classroom Using Play is the Way®  (Masters Action Research Study) Kamloops, BC Gonzaga University. CLICK TO READ
  • McInnes, E., Whitington, V. & Diamond, A. (2013). Developing Trauma Informed Pedagogy in a year 2/3 Classroom. CLICK TO READ
  • Carter, S.C. (2013). Is Play the Way? Investigating the effect of an experiential learning program on self-awareness (Unpublished undergraduate thesis). The University of Queensland, Australia. CLICK TO READ
  • Street, H., Hoppe, D., Kingsbury, D., & Ma, T. (2004). The Game Factory: Using Cooperative Games to Promote Pro-social Behaviour Among Children. Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology, 4, 97-109  (Please note: Play Is The Way was formerly know as The Game Factory) CLICK TO READ


Following is some additional research on various and important elements of social and emotional learning:

  • Moffitt, T., Poulton, R., & Caspi, A. (2013). Lifelong impact of early self-control: Childhood self-discipline predicts adult quality of life. American Scientist, 101, 352–359. A clearly written and user-friendly overview of self-control and its consequences.  CLICK TO READ

  • Payton, J., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., Schellinger, K. B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students: Findings from three scientific reviews . Chicago, IL: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.  CLICK TO READ

  • Smith, D. (2016). Traumatised Children in our Schools: How can we heal our future generations?  CLICK TO READ