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ERIC Number: EJ849821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1052-8938
"You're It!": Thoughts on Play and Learning in Schools
Warner, Laura
Horace, v24 n2 Sum 2008
It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them. Educators are very serious about education in CES schools. However, in their earnest attempts to engage students in meaningful and thought-provoking work or dialogue, is it possible that they are missing out on the crucial downtime of childhood: play? Most people who know about children agree that play is essential to their growth and health. Play comes in a variety of forms, and can be defined as self-managed, creative, light-hearted, and spontaneous, involving rule making and breaking. Early childhood researchers have done much to forward the cause of play as a vital part of the development of young children, and have documented benefits of imaginative, social or "free play." A 2006 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics said free and unstructured play "is healthy and, in fact, essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient." However, playtime is in direct opposition to many school districts' emphasis on standardized tests scores, since as the fiscal and public pressures to perform well on tests increase, the number of gym, art, music or drama classes tends to decline, as does time for recess. In this article, the author shares some thoughts on play and learning in schools and offers a few suggestions for ways to make physical activity in schools more like play.
Coalition of Essential Schools. 1330 Broadway Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 510-433-1451; Fax: 510-433-1455; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A