When to Play and When to Get Out of the Way
Surveys show that most early childhood educators request a reduction in academic pressures and more respect for the normal developmental range of abilities in young children. They want less testing, less data, less paperwork and more time to focus on the individual and unique needs of children. In short, they want more space to implement developmentally appropriate, child directed learning experiences; or the freedom to play.
But not all play is created equal.
While unfettered exploration is essential to allowing children to grow important skills, so is adult-directed guidance and scaffolding. Research suggests four categories defining the intersect of adult directed or initiated play and child directed or initiated play:
1) Free Play
2) Guided Play
3) Co-opted Play
4) Direct Instruction
In this workshop we
1. Unpack research on play based learning
2. Define the spectrum of play depending on the adult or child’s initiation and direction.
3. Share stories of success and challenges of implementing a Play Institute for public school classrooms.