"Learning for young children is a rewarding and enjoyable experience in which they explore, investigate, discover, create, practise, rehearse, repeat, revise and consolidate their developing knowledge, skills, understandings and attitudes. During the foundation stage, many of these aspects of learning are brought together effectively through playing and talking". (QCA, 2000: 20) The same idea is also emphasized in the "Principles for Early Years Education": "Children do not make a distinction between "play" and "work" and neither should practitioners" (QCA, 2000: 11).
[...] to suggest that a focus on social interaction, play and exploration might be more valuable.”(Dockett, Perry, 2002: 68-69) Raban (2002) expresses similar point of view by stating that “pedagogy in early years settings has become more formal, not least, for example, as a result of doubt about the expectations of Ofsted inspectors and the impact of initiatives such as the Literacy Hour” (2002: The author of the article Us Northern (2002) identifies another problem of play-based learning stating that present-day parents and early learning practitioners are being marketed a lot of unnecessary rubbish in the form of educational toys that will supposedly boost children's intelligence. [...]
[...] In addition to the debate in the sphere of play-based learning, Sherman (1996), the author of the article Play Ethic”, identifies a disproportionate amount of time and teacher participation allotted for play in primary classrooms as opposed to other demands of the timetable. She argues that giving equal consideration to play in home corners and sand trays as much as to “writing a story, working on number bonds or drawing a would help children to develop their own interests, and teachers build more curricular work around play”. [...]
[...] Dockett, S., Perry, B. (2002) Who's Ready for What? Young Children Starting School. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Vol No 1., pp68-69 Northern, S. Us Play” TES, 15/03/2002 Raban, B. (2002) Formalisation of Early Learning in England, Education 13, The Professional Journal for Primary Education, Vol.26 April 2000, pp. 7-8 Sutherland, P. (1992). Cognitive development today: Piaget and his critics. London: Paul Chapman. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978) Mind in Society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard [...]
[...] J.Sherman (1996) suggests ways of removing the “play/work distinctions” in primary schools by promoting teachers' participation in play and by organising classrooms into activity areas; she lays emphasis on the lack of teacher's contribution in play activities, when one group of children is left let off steam”, while teacher works with others. However, research evidence does little to suggest that continuous adult involvement stimulates creative play. Ironically, it is a lack of external stimulation that facilitates creative play. When children are not participating in an externally scheduled activity, they become more internally focused: their imagination and creativity takes over. [...]
[...] But it is worthwhile to put some faith in our own common sense and not be muddled by the marketing strategies of those, who would have us believe they can turn our children into “superkids”. Let's have faith in our ability to teach our child and in our child's ability to teach himself. Another way of how adults can help young children to learn and develop to their full potential is through providing the activities that match the children's level of development. [...]
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