Let the children play: Nature”s answer to early learning

Let the children play: Nature”s answer to early learning

16th September 2018OffByRiseNews

This article has an unclear citation style. The references used may be made clearer with a different or consistent style of citation and let the children play: Nature’s answer to early learning. The source “Playing and Learning, Beverlie Dietze, Diane Kashin” is defined multiple times. Learning through play is a term used in education and psychology to describe how a child can learn to make sense of the world around them.

Key ways that young children learn include playing, being with other people, being active, exploring and new experiences, talking to themselves, communication with others, meeting physical and mental challenges, being shown how to do new things, practicing and repeating skills and having fun. According to proponents of the concept, play enables children to make sense of their world. Children possess a natural curiosity to explore and play acts as a medium to do so. Play must be pleasurable and enjoyable.

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Play involves active engagement on the part of the player. Play involves an element of make-believe. Role play and pretend play involves creativity, such as: making props to use or finding objects to be used as props. Play can also be creative when the person involved constructs building blocks, uses paint or uses different materials to build an object.

Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning

Creativity is not about the end product but the process of the play scenario. Imagination is used during play when the person involved creates images in their minds to do with their feelings, thoughts and ideas. The person then uses these images in their play. Seven common characteristics of play are listed in Playing and Learning, by Beverlie Dietze and Diane Kashin: Play is active, child-initiated, process oriented, intrinsic, episodic, rule-governed, and symbolic. There are critical differences between play and work. Work, on the other hand, has a definite intent and a prescribed outcome.

In order for an activity to be considered play, the experience must include a measure of inner control, ability to bend or invent reality, and a strong internally based motivation for playing. If parents and educators try to label experiences as play, but in reality have specific requirements for the activity, then it becomes work not play. For example, it is really impossible to play with flash cards whose purpose is to have a child memorize something on each card. Play is not wasted time, but rather time spent building new knowledge from previous experience. However, long term developmental qualities of play are difficult to research. There are various ways in which researchers may choose to look at the differences between work and play.

The Parent’s Concept: Parents from different cultures define children’s actions of work and play differently. For example, a Mayan mother whose daughter sets up her own fruit stand may consider this action as play. The Child’s Concept: Children have different ideas of what play and work are in comparison to adults. Modern theories examine play from the perspective of how it impacts a child’s development. Contemporary theories focus on the relationship of play to diversity and social justice in daily living and knowledge. Children learn social and cultural contexts through their daily living experiences.

The way that children learn through play is culturally specific “as result of differences in childrearing beliefs, values, and practices. Play both influences and reflects the way children from different cultures learn. Yucatec Mayans commonly learn through Intent Community Participation, a very different approach than is common among middle class European American families. This approach stresses observation that intertwines individuals in community action. Different cultures and communities encourage children to play in different ways.

Parents may not join in the play. Children may not be given toys to play with, but they often make their own. Children may play in mixed age groups away from adults. They may be expected to grow out of play by 5 or in middle childhood. Different age groups have different cognitive capabilities. Their culture also emphasizes learning through observation.

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Children are active participators by observing and modeling activities that are useful to the community. It is inherently integrated into the daily activities of the compound. Yucatec Mayan parents also do not support the idea of pretend. Pretend Play is considered a form of lying because children are not representing something that actually happens. For example, a Mayan mother told an ethnographer that she would “tolerate” her child pretending that the leaves in the bowl was a form of food.

In the first half of the twentieth century, Susan Isaacs introduced the study of play. This came from the understanding of child development that came from Western Europe and the USA. However, experts such as Gunilla Dahlberg et al. Western ways of looking at play cannot be applied cross culturally. Australian aboriginal children challenges Western experts as to whether it is ideal to encourage play. Play is sufficiently important to the United Nations that it has recognized it as a specific right for all children.

Children need the freedom to explore and play. Play also contributes to brain development. Learning occurs when children play with blocks, paint a picture or play make-believe. During play children try new things, solve problems, invent, create, test ideas and explore.

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Pascel, “Play is serious business for the development of young learners. This is such an important understanding. A deliberate and effective play-based approach supports young children’s cognitive development. When well designed, such an approach taps into children’s individual interests, draws out their emerging capacities, and responds to their sense of inquiry and exploration of the world around them. It has been acknowledged that there is a strong link between play and learning for young children, especially in the areas of problem solving, language acquisition, literacy, numeracy and social, physical, and emotional skills.

Young children actively explore their environment and the world around them through learning-based play. As children learn through purposeful, quality play experience, they build critical basic skills for cognitive development and academic achievement. These include verbalization, language comprehension, vocabulary, imagination, questioning, problem-solving, observation, empathy, co-operation skills and the perspectives of others. Through play, children learn a set of skills: social skills, creativity, hand-eye coordination, problem solving and imagination. It is argued that these skills are better learned through play than through flashcards or academic drills. According to Linda Longley and colleagues, experts and parents have different beliefs about the relationship between play activities and learning. Play develops children’s content knowledge and provides children the opportunity to develop social skills, competences and disposition to learn.

Play-based learning is based on a Vygotskian model of scaffolding where the teacher pays attention on specific elements of the play activity and provides encouragement and feedback on children’s learning. Practitioners cannot plan children’s play, because this would work against the choice and control that are central features of play. The level of children’s play rises when adults play with them. The variety of play children engage in also increases when adults join in. The joining in is different from controlling. Adults can role-model positive attitudes towards play, encouraging it and providing a balance of indoor and outdoor play throughout the year.

Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning

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When adults join in they should guide shape, engage in and extend it, rather than dictating or dominating the play. Orchestrate an environment by deciding what toys, materials, and equipment to be included in that environment. It is important to offer a variety of materials and experiences at varying levels of difficulty. The choice of materials is important, because it provides the motivation for children’s exploration and discovery. Both indoor and outdoor experiences should provide exploratory centres and space. Observe carefully as children begin to use the toys, materials and equipment. Observation is an ongoing process, providing information about the child’s interests, abilities and strengths and opportunities for further learning and development.

Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning

Observation helps identify ways adults can build on and guide the learning. Extend children’s natural observation by providing the language necessary to help children articulate what they see happening. The adults can ask questions, to expand and enhance play. Play helps children learn by connecting with their senses and new language that contributes to their learning.

Forty years of research has shown positive correlation between play and children’s learning. This has led many to generalize the conclusion that play is beneficial for all learning. An analysis of more than 150 previous studies on the relationship between pretend play and child development claimed that pretend play may be overrated. Regarding creativity, the study has shown unconvincing evidence of pretend play enhancing creativity. Pretend play, also known as “make-believe play” involves acting out ideas and emotions.

Children act out stories that contain different perspectives and ideas. Although some studies show that this type of play does not enhance child development, others have found that it has a large impact on children’s language usage and awareness of the perspectives of others. Scope is an example of a cognitive approach. The philosophy is that children should be involved actively in their own learning.

In learning center time, they use a plan, do, review approach. This approach allows them to transcend the egocentric now while taking responsibility for directing their own learning. The Montessori Method emphasizes self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher. The objective is to adapt the child’s learning environment to his or her development level.

Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning

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This broad approach encourages children to learn through play. Ontario Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program, for 4- and 5-year-olds, is a school program consisting of exploration, investigation, guided and explicit instruction. Ontario Early Years Centres is a parent-child interactive program with a focus on play-based learning. Parents and caregivers stay with the child, and can obtain information about programs and services available for young children and their families. The Reggio Emilia approach, which is based upon the project approach, has a vision of the child as a competent learner, and has produced a child-directed curriculum model.

Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning

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The curriculum has purposeful progression, and is based on emergent curriculum, but no defined teacher-directed sequence. Good practice in early years foundation stages . Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Rodale Inc. Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town. The Cultural Roles of Emotions in Pretend Play”. New Jersey: Laurance Erlbraum Associates, Inc.

Helping Young Children Through Play: Babies, Toddlers and the Foundation Years. Learning through play:Babies, Toddlers and the Foundation Years. Playing around in school: Implications for learning and educational policy. Fostering mathematical thinking through playful learning. Contemporary Debates on Child Development and Education.

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Dorothy Singer, as cited in Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, page 213 Rodale Inc. The impact of teacher-directed and child-directed pretend play on cognitive competence in kindergarten children. Parents’ and experts’ perceptions of play in the 21st century. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 305-316. Play, learning and the early childhood curriculum. Play in the primary school classroom?

Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning

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The experience of teachers supporting children’s learning through a new pedagogy. Play, cognition and self regulation: What exactly are children learning when they learn through play? Overview for 3- to 7-year olds. The Excellence of play 3rd Edition.

It’s time to stop defending play. The Impact of Pretend Play on Children’s Development: A Review of the Evidence. Knowledge Development in Early Childhood: Source of learning and classroom Implications. The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development.

International Research, International early childhood practices and outcomes”. Montessori schools: Where learning is child’s play”. Ontario Ministry of Education, Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program Policy 2010- 2011. Ontario Ministry of Youth and Child Services.

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Play Based Learning : Learning Through Play”. This page was last edited on 21 March 2018, at 08:03. Read a roundtable with its founders here, or see new stories in the Human Interest section. New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire. Ours is an age of pedagogy. Anxious parents instruct their children more and more, at younger and younger ages, until they’re reading books to babies in the womb.

They pressure teachers to make kindergartens and nurseries more like schools. So does the law—the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act explicitly urged more direct instruction in federally funded preschools. There are skeptics, of course, including some parents, many preschool teachers, and even a few policy-makers. Shouldn’t very young children be allowed to explore, inquire, play, and discover, they ask?

Perhaps direct instruction can help children learn specific facts and skills, but what about curiosity and creativity—abilities that are even more important for learning in the long run? What do we already know about how teaching affects learning? Not as much as we would like, unfortunately, because it is a very difficult thing to study. You might try to compare different kinds of schools. But the children and the teachers at a Marin County preschool that encourages exploration will be very different from the children and teachers in a direct instruction program in South Side Chicago. Developmental scientists like me explore the basic science of learning by designing controlled experiments.

We might start by saying: Suppose we gave a group of 4-year-olds exactly the same problems and only varied on whether we taught them directly or encouraged them to figure it out for themselves? Would they learn different things and develop different solutions? In the first study, MIT professor Laura Schulz, her graduate student Elizabeth Bonawitz, and their colleagues looked at how 4-year-olds learned about a new toy with four tubes. Each tube could do something interesting: If you pulled on one tube it squeaked, if you looked inside another tube you found a hidden mirror, and so on. For one group of children, the experimenter said: “I just found this toy! All of the children pulled the first tube to make it squeak. The question was whether they would also learn about the other things the toy could do.

The children from the first group played with the toy longer and discovered more of its “hidden” features than those in the second group. In other words, direct instruction made the children less curious and less likely to discover new information. Does direct teaching also make children less likely to draw new conclusions—or, put another way, does it make them less creative? To answer this question, Daphna Buchsbaum, Tom Griffiths, Patrick Shafto, and I gave another group of 4-year-old children a new toy. This time, though, we demonstrated sequences of three actions on the toy, some of which caused the toy to play music, some of which did not.