Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Injuries on school playgrounds have increased in recent times despite widespread adoption of playground equipment standards published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The cost of increased insurance premiums and a moral obligation to protect children on a playground while at recess increase liability exposures for a school district. This study explored the behaviors exhibited by elementary school children and playground monitors and the subsequent occurrence of increased or decreased risk potential. The project utilized analytic induction and unobtrusive observations to observe critical incidents that occurred during recess. The behaviors of the children and the monitors were targeted to produce procedures for monitoring playground safety. The study concluded that a four prong playground safety initiative be implemented for proper management of playground behaviors. The recommended behavior based approach consists of pre-usage inspections for general maintenance and hazards, playground monitor training for hazard recognition, playground behavior evaluations, and assignment of monitor duties to include one "play leader."