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ERIC Number: EJ1409973
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-6177
Playing with the Standards: Meeting Rigorous Standards through Play-Based Learning
Ellen McKenzie
Dimensions of Early Childhood, v51 n3 p25-35 2023
Around the world, on every continent, and in every country, children play. Though culturally contextualized, play is a global common childhood experience. There are cultural variations in children's play activities, and though play looks and sounds different across the world, there are also commonalities. Though scholars find it difficult to articulate a definition of play, mounting research supports play as the most effective way for the young child to learn. However, even with compelling evidence supporting self-selected and teacher-directed play, play is disappearing from kindergarten programs in many countries, including the United States. This article addresses the following questions: Is there a place for play-based learning in a standards-based curriculum for children? Furthermore, what constitutes play and what do children learn from playing? To answer these questions, this paper discusses current research on play, defines play-based learning, presents a continuum of play-based learning that clarifies types of play and their use for teaching, and links play to rigorous national standards for kindergarten.
Southern Early Childhood Association. PO Box 8109 Jacksonville, AR 72078. Tel: 501-221-1648. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A