Play and the Curriculum
There is much research that supports the use of play in early childhood, and “the science behind play, what exists, should be sufficient to argue at least for its inclusion, if not a focus, in early education.” Yet, there is tension between play and “in the face of increased pressure on literacy and mathematics, driven in part by the No Child Left Behind Act and development of the Common Core Standards, policy-makers and some parents are expecting preschool programs to look more like classrooms for older children” (Snow, n.d., para 2).
How would you handle just such a demand on your future classroom or school? This discussion will engage you in reflecting on your play philosophy and why it is important for leaders in the field of early childhood education to take a stand on the topic of play in the classroom.
To prepare for this discussion, read the article Research News You Can Use: Debunking the Play Vs. Learning Dichotomy (Links to an external site.). Then use the following scenario to guide your thinking:
As a leader and professional in the field of early childhood education, you have decided to write on this topic for your local newspaper column. Using the Toulmin model as your guide, defend the use of play in the classroom. Your article should be written in academic writing style and should include the following (for information on the differences between academic and personal writing styles Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) and Differences Between First and Third Person (Links to an external site.)):
- Explain your school’s philosophy of play in the classroom.
- Defend the ways in which play enhances development in each domain of development and is considered a developmentally appropriate practice. Support this portion of your article with your primary text and at least one scholarly or credible resource.
- Describe each form of play. Identify three things children are learning as they engage in pretend play and three things children are learning as they engage in construction play.
- Compare and contrast the difference between a classroom in which guided play is a part of the curriculum and one that uses play to simply fill up time. Support this portion of your discussion with your primary text and at least one scholarly or credible resource.