ERIC Number: ED389430
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
The Comprehension of Symbolic Play in the Nursery School.
Sellares Viola, R.; Bassedas Ballus, M.
This paper describes two projects analyzing forms of appearance and the characteristics of symbolic play, that is, spontaneous play free from adult intervention. The paper highlights some characteristics and theoretical orientations and discusses preliminary findings. The theoretical framework includes using evolutive cognitive and psychoanalytical theories as theories which consider play an environment in which to construct identity and experiment with the social world. Evidence from the first project shows that: (1) free play, mostly symbolic, occupies most of a child's time at nursery school; (2) children often play alone, or with their mothers, without the participation of an educator; (3) symbolic play increases with a child's age; and (4) classroom play centers encourage activity in children over the age of 3. Results from the second project include: (1) the strong presence of themes such as death and bodily functions indicate a strong relation between play and the child's needs; (2) play takes up most of children's nursery school time, and most play is "make believe"; (3) knowledge, feelings, and relationship modalities meet in play; and (4) children start school at varying degrees of development and with varying capacities for symbolization. Contains 12 references. (JW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the European Conference on the Quality of Early Childhood Education (5th, Paris, France, September 7-9, 1995).