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ERIC Number: EJ970546
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
The Pedagogy of Play
Giesbrecht, Sheila
Education Canada, v52 n1 Win 2012
Play is important. Environmental educators Sobel and Louv write about the relationship between children and outside play and suggest that early transcendental experiences within nature allow children to develop empathetic orientations towards the natural world. Children who play out-of-doors develop an appreciation for the environment and accordingly develop the groundwork to become stewards of the earth. Other educators suggest that out-of-doors play activities support many of the skills necessary for adult life including social competence, problem solving, safety, and creative thinking. Cultural critics Wendell Berry and Kay Hymowitz write about the ongoing relationship between how, where, and what children play and the foundational citizenship and democratic skills developed through the childhood work of play. A variety of studies indicate that modern children engage in different outdoor activities than children in previous generations. These studies indicate that fewer school-aged children engage in imaginative play and street games (child-initiated games using child-initiated rules such as jump-rope or kick-the-can). Children are increasingly participating in adult-structured activities (play dates, after school sports, lessons), leaving little time for child-initiated activities. Accordingly, the development of skills related to creative play such as cooperation, imagination, creativity, and ownership decrease as responsibility for play is transferred to responsible adults. Research also indicates that children living within low socio-economic neighbourhoods spend more time watching television, are more sedentary, and spend more time playing video and/or computer games than their higher income counterparts. These factors are linked to the lower health, school engagement, and academic achievement of lower income school-age children. Obviously, the relationship between play, socio-economics, academic achievement, and pro-social behaviours are very complex. However, it seems possible to suggest that children who are more engaged with adult-directed, structured, technological, or indoor worlds build different personal, social, and academic capacities. It also seems probable that children are being provided with inequitable futures when the freeing experience of play is not part of the repertoire of all childhood experience. (Contains 2 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A