Thursday, 26 March 2015

Play and learning

For me it is natural that children learn through play...

BUT what is this play that they learn through?

How is it defined - is there good play, bad play or some play that is more rich in learning potential? And is there a line between learning and play - or maybe a zone for optimal learning in play... or should it be optimal play while learning?

How much can children learn by themselves in their own play together... where is the pivot in the child/teacher learning/play balance? Can a teacher enhance play too much, control the play too much so as to deepen the learning that is going on?

Do we teachers have to much of a learning agenda in children's play as a way to prove to the world there is real value in play?

Are we possibly hijacking children's play in our attempts to save it?

I have blogged quite a bit about play in the past... here are some links in case you would like to explore more...
  • winter mud play  - does allowing children the freedom to get messy enable their play to be richer and more fun/meaningful. 
  • Play Space in Jenin - how important is it to create play spaces for children? What value does this have? is playing on the street of equal value? Is a rundown playspace more of a disappointment for children than having no playground, where play is on the street/nature?
  • Empty Spaces - what does the third teacher really tell the children... how do the children feel most value... by having access to lots of toys and materials, by having access to a few well thought out ones? or what about the cardboard box approach I have seen in various places where the children just have cardboard boxes and tubes etc to play with?
  • Reflecting on play  do I see the children's play in the same way as the children... can it be measured or compared... this was an attempt to explore that a little...
  • Play reflecting on the play in my childhood compared to the play of today...
  • Children should be seen and not heard - do we see and children too much and therefore not allow them access to true free play?
  • Toys how do toys influence the kind of play that is played...
  • Even harmless games can be evil - a translated blog post about war/fighting games in preschool etc 
  • art-children - reflection - children  - a post reflecting on children, play and art... and having visited the Modern Art museum today I found myself not enjoying the experience so much... having worked hard to create and environment that allows, I suddenly found myself in a an environment that restricted... you could only experience the art through your eyes... the rest of the senses then? Don't touch don't touch all over the place and staff that seemed to fear young children... "don't touch" they kept saying... even though they were not touching...
  • Work and play - elevating the status of play - are we doing play a disservice by calling it children's work... 
  • Feel the rain - is play taking the time to listen to the rain... to take the time to realise that today's play is not about what I first thought but a reaction to what we hear and see together...?
  • What happened to play?  exploring play -... and the length of time children have access to play in their school...
  •  individual needs of child play -     OK in this post I make a pizza reference 
  •  Freedom, free , freeplay exploring what free play is, and if it can exist.
  • more thoughts about play - here I interviewed my children about what they thought free play is...
  • what is play more thoughts from my children about what is play...
  • Do children play enough? this is my last link... of course there are more play posts to explore (56 under play 61 under outdoor play... of course some of these will be one and the same post)
  So now I am just going to leave it there... with questions... because really, I just need to think about this a whole load more.... again.




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