ERIC Number: EJ1120003
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Heroes of Resiliency and Reciprocity: Teachers' Supporting Role for Reconceptualizing Superhero Play in Early Childhood Settings
Harris, Kathleen I.
Pastoral Care in Education, v34 n4 p202-217 2016
Superhero play is a specialised form of fantasy play with considerable appeal to young children. During superhero play, children have opportunities to pretend and often to play different types of roles within a safe and caring environment. When guided appropriately in an early childhood classroom, superhero play gives young children opportunities to gain a sense of mastery and empowerment as well as developmentally appropriate benefits by improving language skills, problem-solving and cooperation with peers. By recognising and modelling the characteristics of resiliency and promoting kindness with peers during superhero play, teachers can encourage children to be kind and resilient heroes to classroom friends. As today's classrooms increasingly include diverse members, it is important for young children to understand and appreciate the peers they play and learn with at school. The result may be a richer learning experience and may break down barriers that can produce unfairness, bullying and aggressive behaviours. This article explores the essence of superhero fantasy play along with its benefits for young children. In addition, the article examines the challenge of superhero play in classrooms for early childhood educators by exploring teachers' roles in play. A new pedagogy for supporting superhero play is introduced, addressing spiritual and educational concerns by suggesting ways in which teachers can increase resiliency, encourage new friendships and build classroom community among peers during play and classroom activities.
Descriptors: Play, Resilience (Psychology), Problem Solving, Fantasy, Preschool Education, Peer Relationship, Prosocial Behavior, Cultural Pluralism, Bullying, Ethics, Learning Experience, Barriers, Aggression, Preschool Children, Teacher Role, Class Activities, Classroom Techniques, Cooperative Learning, Teacher Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A