Despite its ubiquity in junior classrooms, the use of the mat as a pedagogical strategy is surprisingly under-researched. Little is known about when and how it is used, its purpose, and perceived learning outcomes. The current study included 296 anonymous responses from Year 2 teachers in New Zealand primary schools. Results showed that children spent between one and two hours on the mat each day, in blocks of 10-20 minutes. Perceived learning outcomes included social understanding and a sense of group cohesion. However, the types of activities that would promote this type of outcome were not frequently used, which suggests that there may be a disconnect between perceived learning outcomes and dedicated activities. Teachers must carefully examine typical mat time activities in order to evaluate whether or not they achieve what they set out to accomplish.
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