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Securing the Future of Play in Early Childhood Education: Journeying with Children Toward the Essence of Play to Evidence its Function and Value / Justine Howard

Whitebread et al (Eds) The Sage Handbook of Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education

Swansea University Author: Howard, Justine

Abstract

This chapter considers challenges associated with the status of play, specifically, of integrating play within early childhood education. It outlines how play can be seen as an observable behaviour but also as a mindset or an approach to task. The chapter boldly suggests that understanding children’...

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Published in: Whitebread et al (Eds) The Sage Handbook of Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education
Published: London Sage 2019
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa44486
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Abstract: This chapter considers challenges associated with the status of play, specifically, of integrating play within early childhood education. It outlines how play can be seen as an observable behaviour but also as a mindset or an approach to task. The chapter boldly suggests that understanding children’s own views of their play holds the key to exposing its unique contribution to learning and development. The chapter considers what characteristics children associate with play and why. It identifies that play becomes distinguished from other activities as a result of experience and that as such, playfulness has the potential to be beneficially nurtured and maintained through infancy and beyond. It highlights that children’s learning and development is enhanced through playful experiences. It argues that an understanding of children’s perceptions of their own play informs theory, policy and practice and thus, children’s life experiences.
Keywords: Play, playfulness, early education, children’s perspectives, early learning and development
College: College of Human and Health Sciences