Play = Learning: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children's Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195304381
ISBN-10: 0195304381
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Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

Play is under attack, argue the child development and learning experts behind this informative anthology. It is a victim of today’s trend to focus on a narrow set of cognitive skills, a downed bystander of the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act. What has been neglected in this rush to reinvent education, these authors say, is the huge body of research buttressing the relation between types of play, a wide range of learning and school preparedness. Editors Dorothy G. Singer, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek lament a regression to 19th-century learning approaches, like memorization, in an era with "an emerging creative class that values conceptual knowledge and original thinking." Children must know facts, but it is ironic that teachers now emphasize rote learning at a time when information constantly changes. "The power of knowledge," they write, "comes from weaving those facts together in new and imaginative ways." The power of this volume is its descriptions of the varieties of play—make-believe, storytelling and story-acting, mathematical—and of more than 40 years of research linking play to increased attention spans, creativity, constructive peer interaction and mental health, to list only a few benefits. The authors present surprising and often dismaying reports about recent actions that ignore the literature. We learn of an unprecedented rise in expulsions from prekindergarten classes, perhaps arising from children’s frustration as they are taught skills once thought appropriate for youngsters several years older. Academic tutoring for test score gains has lasting negative consequences, according to one author, including poorer study habits and lower achievement. The anthology grew out of a 2005 conference at Yale University funded by Fisher-Price, and editors and authors of the book have consulted for Fisher-Price and other toy manufacturers over the years. So it comes as no surprise that the book spends a little time examining what is known about the educational value of toys and videos. In a chapter on media, play, infants and toddlers, Fisher-Price manager of child research Deborah S. Weber cites studies of young children whose parents sing along and clap during, and talk to them about, age-appropriate television shows and videos. Teachers found that children who watch TV supported by this adult "scaffolding" were more ready to learn than children left to watch alone. Though well written, the chapters of Play = Learning demand great concentration and challenge the educated lay reader. But it is hard to fault the authors for their thoroughness. They are serious about play and offer convincing evidence that rather than being a distraction from learning, play is the thing.

Karen A. Frenkel

Review


"Early childhood educators are well aware of the importance of play in children's lives. This volume is a wonderful collection of chapters by eminent authors, who have thought deeply about play and young children's learning. Readers will find it challenging, provocative, reassuring, and enormously satisfying."--Barbara Bowman, Erikson Institute


"In the current era of scientifically-based education and accountability, this book fills a critical gap in the knowledge base--providing an extensive research review of all the ways play enhances learning and development for all children, including those with special needs. This book should help teachers, administrators, teacher educators, and policy makers go beyond the either/or debates of the past. The evidence is clear--children need both hands-on, educationally enriching play experiences and teacher instruction."--Sue Bredekamp, Ph.D., Director of Research, Council for Professional Recognition, Washington, DC, and Former Director of Professional Development, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)


"This is a stunning and important book. The authors do more for play than anyone since Vygotsky. In the earliest years, play lays the groundwork for imitative learning, simulation, and contributes to socio-emotional growth. By the third and fourth years, play becomes a critical avenue by which the child experiments with virtual realities and explores future possibilities. Play is sometimes undervalued in the increasingly high-pressured world of child-rearing. This volume transforms how we think about play and is essential reading for developmental psychologists, practitioners, policymakers, and all those who wish to enhance the lives of children."--Andrew N. Meltzoff, co-author, The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind


"In this wonderful book on play, a variety of leading researchers and scholars in the play and child development area review how play helps children develop and learn. There is a special focus on play and the learning process which involves the whole child. This book provides a fresh and up-to-date look at play and areas of adaptive functioning such as literacy, mathematics, and self-regulation. This is a much needed and timely book, as our culture is de-emphasizing the importance of play. Many authors discuss implications of play research for public policy. This book tells us why we, as a society, need to provide time, space, and guidance for children to play."--Sandra W. Russ, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University


"...a realistic appraisal of what play can contribute to early learning such as the links between play and early literacy and language competence and the importance of recess in the primary grades."--Young Children (November 2006)



Product details

  • File Size: 3005 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 24, 2006)
  • Publication Date: July 27, 2006
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QXDAJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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