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ERIC Number: EJ938894
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
The Case for Play: How a Handful of Researchers Are Trying to Save Childhood
Bartlett, Tom
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v77 n1 p27-33 Sep 2011
For play researchers, no one looms larger than Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky viewed play, particularly pretend play, as a critical part of childhood, allowing a child to stand "a head taller than himself." His biggest theoretical contribution may have been the Zone of Proximal Development: the idea that children are capable of a range of achievement during each stage of their lives. In the right environment, with the right guidance (later dubbed "scaffolding"), children can perform at the top of that range. For instance, Vygotsky explained, when a child can pretend that a broomstick is a horse, he or she is able to separate the object from the symbol. A broom is not a horse, but it's possible to call a broom a horse, and even to pretend to ride it. That ability to think abstractly is a huge mental leap forward, and play can make it happen.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A