Join me as I explore different happenings in Education

Continuing along with my earlier theme of Play in the classroom, I came across two interesting videos on Youtube. The first video talks about how play is essential to a child’s development and is as natural as eating and sleeping.  This video does touch on a few of my earlier questions about how involved show I be, as the teacher, in the children’s play. It states that an adults involvement allows the children to feel like playing is important and that the adult is able to encourage the child to think of different ways to play. It does still leave me wondering though however that I could involve myself too much in their play and end up changing the direction of the play.

The second video is a keynote speech at the International Board for Educational Research and Resources – Forum 2008.  The speaker starts off making some good points but then near the end seems to head in a different direction.  One of the interesting comments that I took from this video was that he said that according to research done in the West many serial killers did not have the opportunity to play as children. He states that play is important for the soul.

After watching these videos one can understand that play is important but I am not sure that allowing the children to play means that we should not have instructional time also. I simply believe that the two should be balanced out.

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Comments on: "Importance of Play for the Children" (4)

  1. Hey Honni,

    I am not sure what the answer is to your question as a teacher. I know I struggle with the same questions but now as a parent. Recently a friend of mine posted this on facebook and I absolutely love it! Sometimes, I feel that parents, especially those who are teachers, rush our children into growing up too soon. We worry that they don’t know enough and will “fall behind” in school. Here is a great blog about what a four year-old should know. Enjoy!

    http://magicalchildhood.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/what-should-a-4-year-old-know/

  2. Thanks for sharing these videos, Honni. I haven’t seen either, and it’s a very interesting area. I’ve added these to media I’ll need to review.

    I’m looking forward to learning more from you as the semester rolls on!

  3. I have struggled and juggled with the importance of play in education. I agree with you that there needs to be a balance. I’m finding that as I move up in grades, parents expect less play and more “work” I’m trying to find a balance in my own classroom where play can enhance “work.” there are no magic answers. Reggio Emilia research shows play based learning is best for early childhood but not everyone lives in Italy, and you have to make it work for you!

  4. I have read some about Reggio but there is still lots that I don’t know. I have met a few other Early Childhood Educators that truly follow what he taught but I find that I am in the middle somewhere. I feel it is important to let the children play but I have also taught Grade 1 and I know that the students feel lost coming into Grade 1 where there is no unstructured play time like there was in Kindergarten. I find that near the end of the school year, I spend a lot more time prepping the kids for sit down work and stricter routines based upon what I have seen from many Grade 1 teachers.

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