An interesting article Defining and Advocating for Play from NAEYC discusses a range of definitions of play and its role in young childrens' development and learning.
- The Definition of Play
- Why Play Is Learning at Its Best
- Children Need and Have a Right to Play
- Academic Rigor = Engaging Play
- Advocating for Play at School and at Home
- Play—The True Work of Childhood
- Why Play Is a Pathway to Learning
"Knowing that there are numerous definitions of play and its role in young children's development and learning, NAEYC invited several early childhood educators to write their own definitions. These pieces are published in the May 2014 issue of Young Children, which focuses on play in the early childhood years. We hope these thoughts inspire you to consider how you might define the role of play in early childhood. Visit NAEYC’s website at www.naeyc.org/yc/pastissues/2014/may for more about the May 2014 issue."
Learning in Prep. Learning through play
In Prep children learn in many different ways including play, organised games, and investigation. They develop important life skills by working with other children and adults. Prep makes connections between school and what your child learns at home and in early childhood education and care...
During play children make decisions, solve problems, develop thinking and teamwork skills, communicate, and develop a positive sense of themselves.
Types of play used to help Prep children learn may include:
- manipulative—doing puzzles, making necklaces or constructions
- games with rules—playing board and card games or outdoor games with rules
- exploratory—using blocks to investigate weight, height, number, shape and balance
- fantasy—children creating props for space adventures
- physical—moving through obstacle courses, climbing, running.
- Other activities like music, painting and drawing encourage language, reading and writing skills.
Dangers of Early Test Taking
September 22, 2016
Whenever two good people argue over principles, they are both right. -Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Aphorisms.
"Young children are notoriously bad test takers," proclaims Lillian Katz in the DVD Child Assessment, part of the Voices: Insights from the Field series. Katz, who is Professor Emerita and Co-Director of the Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting, University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana, goes on to say that tests given to young children are "terribly unreliable."
Quoting recent studies, Katz explains, "Once a child has been defined by adults, he/she tends to bring his/her behavior into line with that definition. Children who have confidence in their ability tend to ask teachers for help when they get stuck. Children who don’t have confidence in their ability don’t ask for help...Adults can break this cycle, but children can’t."
Excerpt: I'm so happy to live in a world in which I don't need to defend the educational benefits of turquoise water, wooden boats, chop sticks, clothes pins, and rocks.
In fact, I'm often shocked when confronted with a person who doesn't get it, who sees children as some sort of raw wood with the basic shape of a finished vessel perhaps, but in need of fixing or filling or painting or trimming or rigging...
...convinced by the results of their own mental experiments that "prove" that more rigor, longer hours, more academics, and uniform standards will lead to smarter kids. They start from the perverse premise that knowing stuff is more important than knowing how to know. And their entire body of "knowledge" comes from a place of suppositions, books, standardized tests, and analysis so far removed from a classroom that even what they do "know" is a mere abstraction of the "real" seas of our children's lives. I'm so happy I don't need to spend my days convincing them.
And their entire body of "knowledge" comes from a place of suppositions, books, standardized tests, and analysis so far removed from a classroom that even what they do "know" is a mere abstraction of the "real" seas of our children's lives. I'm so happy I don't need to spend my days convincing them...