ERIC Number: ED248003
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Superman Comes to Preschool: Superhero TV Play.
Ritchie, Kathleen E.; Johnson, Zita M.
Systematic efforts at the Arizona State Child Study Laboratory were successful in replacing children's undesirable superhero play with other types of sociodramatic play. Teachers found superhero play undesirable because it was aggressive and noisy and was accompanied by an increase in random activity. Observations indicated that superhero play had all six elements of sociodramatic play discussed by Smilansky but did not fully develop them. Specifically, such play was limited in the roles adopted by children, did not build on past experience or encourage sharing ideas through language, and emphasized conflicts that were resolved by physical aggression or "flying away." However, the popularity of superhero play showed that it met real needs for active play and for expressing angry and aggressive feelings. Other sociodramatic play was encouraged by gradually introducing costumes, props, and materials around a theme such as transportation or a grocery store, and by preparing the children through field trips, discussion, and stories. The teacher's general role was to deliberately enrich and change the environment and to suggest techniques for getting along with others if conflicts arose. However, the teacher had to supplement her role with children who depended on a superhero identity to compensate for their lack of self-esteem and social skills by directing them into new activities.(CB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Education of Young Children (Washington, DC, November 11-14, 1982).