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Teacher Research on Play and School Readiness

by Margie Carter
May/June 2015
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/teacher-research-on-play-and--school-readiness/5022338/

Why is play so important in early learning? Play has been likened to the inquiry-based approach of a scientist because both engage in 'what if' thinking. The child is continually trying out new possibilities and learns as much from failure and mistakes as from positive outcomes.

"It is this process that is of great importance to the child rather than the outcome. However, it is difficult to assess this process, which is one reason that play has fallen out of favor in schools. Creativity, curiosity, play, and problem solving are all intertwined in early childhood. Social negotiation is also frequently part of the mix." —Joan Amon (2013)

"A child's greatest achievements are possible in play, achievements that tomorrow will become her basic level of real action and morality. What children can do with the assistance of others might be in some sense even more indicative of their mental development than what they can do alone." — Lev Vygotsky, Mind in Society (1978)

In today's world where early education is focused on 'school readiness,' advocates for a play-based early childhood curriculum struggle to be taken seriously. Their challenges are not only external views and expectations, but genuine internal uncertainty about how to 'do ...

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