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A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence [Paperback]

by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Laura E. Berk, Dorothy Singer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 16, 2008 0195382714 978-0195382716 1
We are robbing young children of play time at home and school in an effort to give them a head start on academic skills like reading and mathematics. Yet the scientific evidence suggests that eliminating play from the lives of children is taking preschool education in the wrong direction. This brief but compelling book provides a strong counterargument to the rising tide of didactic instruction on preschool classrooms. The authors present scientific evidence in support of three points: 1) children need both unstructured free time and playful learning under the gentle guidance of adults to best prepare for entrance into formal school; 2) academic and social development are inextricably intertwined, so academic learning must not trump attention to social development; and 3) learning and play are not incompatible. Rather, playful learning captivates children's minds in ways that support better academic and social outcomes as well as strategies for lifelong learning. Written in clear and expressive language, this book offers a comprehensive review of research supporting playful learning along with succinct policy and practice recommendations that derive from this research. A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool is a must read for teachers, policy makers, and parents interested in educating a generation of life-long learners who are ready for school and ready to compete in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.

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Editorial Reviews


"This brief, convincing book is a valuable read for several audiences...Teacher educators and trainers as well as curriculum developers will find strong support for bringing play back to the classrooms. Lastly, parents will find it an eye-opener to the value of play and the critical role that make-believe play has in developing a child's competencies, both academic and social-emotional."--Preschool Matters

"Amid the increasing emphasis on standards and assessment in preschool education, are policymakers losing sight of the value of play? This book, by four distinguished investigators in the field, suggests that they are. After reviewing decades of research, the authors conclude that 'children need both unstructured free play and playful learning under the gentle guidance of adults to best prepare them for entrance into formal school.'"--Fairfax Futures

"A Mandate for Playful Learning in the Preschool: Presenting the Evidence offers strong new ammunition desperately needed to halt the forces that devalue play...the fact that this book gets right to the points that it so compellingly makes may, in itself, attract busy readers as well as give believers resource material for framing their own approaches...I highly recommend this book. It articulates the beliefs of play specialists and scholars beautifully in an evidence-based context."--Karen VanderVen as reviewed in American Journal of Play

About the Author

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Professor in the Department of Psychology at Temple University, where she serves as Director of the Infant Language Laboratory. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania. Her research in the areas of early language development and infant cognition has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and Human Development, resulting in 9 books and numerous publications. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, serves as the Associate Editor of Child Development, and is treasurer of the International Association for Infant Studies. Roberta Michnick Golinkoff obtained her doctorate from Cornell University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center, she joined the University of Delaware. She holds an H. Rodney Sharp Chair in the School of Education, with joint appointments in Psychology and Linguistics. A Guggenheim Fellow and a James McKeen Cattell award winner, she has written dozens of journal articles, chapters, and academic books.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (October 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195382714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195382716
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding read March 14, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In looking for sound early years research which is not tempered by assessment driven curriculum I found this book to be of the highest standard. It states in clear language the types of programs which early years educators have been trying to convince others of for many years. It is a little gem. Well done to the authors. A must read for those early educators who find the push down hot-housing of children who are six and below really distressing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great January 15, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a preschool teacher of special needs students, I found this book validating as I strive to carve out a little place for them to engage in exploratory, playful, meaningful learning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book November 3, 2012
By lmassey
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the book to do research for a paper that I am writing and the information in the book gave me tons of information and my first five pages came out this book.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not very helpful May 21, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i am a mother of 2 young children and bought this book in hopes to find some ideas to help get them ready for preschool/kindergarten. not in this book. more of a reference book for people in the education profession, mostly trying to persuade you to use the playful learning technique, but never really told you how to do it. kind of frustrating.
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