Play as a Framework for Learning

Topics: Jean Piaget, Early childhood education, Childhood Pages: 4 (1813 words) Published: November 6, 2012
In this essay I am going to discuss how play is a framework for learning in early childhood education in New Zealand and the role of a teacher in implementing a play based curriculum. I will also be discussing 2 theoretical perspectives in relation to play. Play is an important factor in our children’s lives. Through play children learn many different things in life. ‘Play is seen as a positive impact in children’s learning, and play-based curriculums are advocated as one of the best approaches to children’s learning across the early years’ (Nixon & Gould, 2002). Children develop at different paces and a very high proportion of what they learn takes place in the first five to seven years of life. What happens in the home is extremely important to development in early childhood. Dockett and Fleer (2002) suggest that the ideas of what play is range from “the view that play is a process of engaging in aimless activities, to a view that play includes make-believe activities, and then to a view that play cannot be defined by activities, rather it is an attitude of mind” (p. 14). In our study guide, one of the questions asked that really caught my eye was, Do all children with different backgrounds learn through play? It says the answer is apparently no, according to Chan (2006). She claims that, for example, Chinese believe “learning is not synonymous with playing and learning does not need to be active, fun and interesting … and Asian education systems are generally highly structured, dogmatic, teacher-centred” (p. 36). I believe that children in different cultures don’t always have play. Maybe because of their religion or their parents don’t believe in play. I know for a fact that play is a must in a child’s life. In Bruce and Meggit’s (1999, p. 240) reading it says that “Play brings together the ideas, feelings, relationships and physical life of the child. It helps children to use what they know and understand about the world and the people they meet. When...

References: Dockett, S., & Fleer, M. (2002). Play and pedagogy in early childhood: Bending the rules. Southbank, VIC: Thomson.
Chan, A. (2006). “The teachers said my child is different”. The First Years/Nga Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 8(1), 34-38.
Bruce, T., & Meggitt, C. (1996). Child care & education. London, UK: Hodder & Stoughton.
Eliason, C., & Jenkins, L. (1999). A practical guide to early childhood curriculum (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Hamer, C. (1999). Observation: A tool for learning. Te tirohanga, he taonga awhina i te ako. Wellington: Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
Penrose, P. (1998). Take another look. Tirohia anō. A guide to observing children. He momo ārahi ki te tiro i ngā tamariki (2nd ed.). Auckland: New Zealand Play Centre Federation.
MacNaughton, G., & Williams, G. (2004). Techniques for teaching young children: Choices in theory and practice (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.
Faragher, J., & MacNaughton, G. (1996). Working with young children: Guidelines for good practice. Collingwood, VIC: TAFE Publications.
Isenberg, J. P., & Jalongo, M. R. (2006). Creative thinking and arts-based learning. Preschool through fourth grade (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
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