Play, Learning and the Early Childhood Curriculum

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SAGE, May 17, 2005 - Education - 256 pages
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`An excellent overview of the development in thinking about play, based on research into different aspects of play...This book enables the reader to not only access, and engage with developing theories and ideas, but also provides practical ideas and examples that have been tried and tested in the classroom. This book should be compulsory reading for every teacher of young children who are interested in developing their practice to provide a stimulating, active and playful environment with their children in which effective learning and positive attitudes are developed' - Bernadette Hancock, Headteacher of Christ the King Primary School, Cardiff

`One of the major strengths of the book is that it makes some complex theory highly accessible to its audience....This makes it an excellent introductory book for use on inservice and undergraduate programs' - Sue Rogers, Institute of Education

`This book aims to improve the quality of play in "educational" settings. It will be valuable for a wide range of practitioners' - Nursery World

`In this new and updated edition of an outstanding book, Wood and Attfield once again demonstrate how young children make meaning, and construct knowledge, through play. They combine an informed discussion of the 'ideological tradition' of the early childhood pioneers, which continues to underpin most contemporary provision, with a refreshing openness to the new insights provided by recent research, and the new opportunities offered by the Foundation Stage era. Their unrivalled explanation of the links between theorists, such as Vygotsky, and classroom provision for play, is now expanded through considerations of recent findings in neuroscience, and a renewed awareness of the sociocultural contexts of childhood, as well as by studies which acknowledge the importance of boisterous, rough-and-tumble, play activities for children's development. And throughout, they remind readers and practitioners of the important distinction between play as a spontaneous activity of children ('play as such'), and the play which educators offer as a medium for learning' - Elizabeth Brooker, Course Leader: MA in Childhood Studies, Institute of Education

'This book provides a thorough and up-to-date overview of the topical issue of teaching and learning through play. Chapters cover issues including assessment through play, the role of adults in children's play, the impact of play on social and emotional learning and how to develop a whole-school approach to learning through play.

...This book is theoretical and detailed but extremely interesting and there is certainly practical information to be found in it' - Early Talk

This timely Second Edition explores recent developments which strongly endorse play as an integral part of the curriculum. The content has been fully revised to reflect contemporary thinking about the role and value of play in early childhood and beyond. A key focus is the provision of a secure theoretical and practical grounding for developing a pedagogy of play.

In the first section, the authors provide an overview of recent developments in education policies, and reviews of research into different aspects of play. In the second section, the emphasis is on classroom practice, specifically: organizing and developing play with particular reference to the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1; establishing progression and continuity with Key Stage 1; assessing children's learning through play; the role of adults in children's play; using the plan-do-review approach to integrate child-initiated and adult-directed play; the importance of socio-dramatic play for children's social and emotional learning; and developing a whole-school play ethos.

This book enables practitioners to create unity between play, learning and teaching, and to improve the quality of children's learning. New material provided by practitioners has been added, to show how this unity can be successfully achieved.

This is an essential text for students of education. It is highly recommended to those undertaking degrees in Childhood Studies and those on Initial Teacher Training programmes in early years and primary education.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1 The Problems with Play
1
Chapter 2 Ideologies Ideals and Theories
28
Multitheoretical Perspectives
59
Chapter 4 Contemporary Sociocultural Theories
90
Chapter 5 Developing Play in the Curriculum
118
Chapter 6 Developing a Pedagogy of play
158
Chapter 7 Assessing Childrens Learning in Play
184
Chapter 8 Improving the Quality of Play
217
Bibliography
238
Author Index
245
Subject Index
246
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