ERIC Number: ED152431
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Reference Count: 0
Play and the Acquisition of Symbols.
Fein, Greta G.
This paper examines the interrelationship between children's acquisition and use of symbols and the development of imaginative play. The paper focuses on the use of pretend play as an expression of the child's capacity for symbolic functioning and as an index of intellectual development. The first section of the paper reviews developmental changes in children's play behaviors from infancy through the preschool years. Observational and experimental studies of children's play and the concomitant use of symbols during this period are presented and discussed. The second section of the paper discusses some of the theoretical issues and controversies involved in the interpretation of pretend play. This section describes and compares functional and structural approaches to the study of play behaviors. In the final section of the paper, the recent research demonstrating and defining the cognitive developmental value of play is portrayed as a beginning response to past criticisms of play oriented early childhood education programs. (BD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Early Childhood Education, Champaign, IL.