ERIC Number: ED473151
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Feb
Work and Play: Are They Really Opposites?
Rosberg, Merilee A.
Noting that current discussion of the best way to accomplish the goal of "No Child Left Behind" has focused on the value of play versus a structured program for early education, this paper uses science education as a model for examining how children learn and the problems arising when artificial lines are drawn between work and play. The paper describes preschool and kindergarten experiences in general science, mathematics, geography, and physics in which the teacher has arranged the environment to provide hands-on experiences. It is noted that changes in the approach to teaching science emphasizing process rather than product call for changes in educational practices and terminology used to discuss goals. The paper maintains that educational planning for early childhood requires a framework that recognizes the close alliance between the process of work and play. A typology is then offered as a framework for the description, analysis, and appropriate labeling of work and play, as well as for planning the educational activities of young children. The classification is based on six dimensions representing a characteristic or quality that is part of the total concept of work or play experienced by children: (1) energy level used; (2) clarity of goals; (3) external symbols of evaluation; (4) types of skills used; (5) satisfaction accrued; and (6) suspension of judgment. The paper concludes with a discussion of the dilemma in educational planning regarding what to change and what to retain, and the potential of this typology to encourage a different perspective on the way activities for young children are viewed. (Contains 15 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A