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Cross-culture aspects of play and childhood development models

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  1. Introduction
  2. Defining play
    1. Piaget's view
    2. Fein's view
  3. Cultural aspects of play: Do different cultures 'play' differently?
    1. Cultural differences in child play behavior
    2. Qualitative and quantitative review analysis of Whiting's 1963 study
    3. Analysis of study from LEGO Learning Institute
    4. The cultural differences regarding play in children
  4. The evolution of the concept of 'adult-centric' in Brazil
  5. Similarities in play in China and the U.S
  6. Cross-cultural aspects of play and its effects on early childhood development
  7. Social justice and cultural differences in play within the classroom
  8. Addressing cultural differences in an early childhood program?
  9. The social functions served by play
  10. Concluding remarks
  11. References

Piaget (1962) described play as imitating and practicing behaviors, oftentimes associated with symbolic . Play happens through the assimilation of facts, events or behaviors, or through the distortion of reality, in order to put reality back together. Sometimes child play involves the representation of an absent object or person, as if it, or they, were present, and can also include elements of ?higher play? such as games with rules and regulations. In many cultural groups, studies have shown that the earliest form of childhood play combines imitation and practice, whereby sensory and motor skills are developed within the first twenty-four months of age. It is easy to imagine an infant copying the movement and sounds of his mother, or of a pet, as the child begins to undertake the great task of ?fitting in? to his or her social and cultural surroundings.

Fein (1981) states that symbolic or ?pretending? tends to emerge in children around the age of two. From there, in most societies, children move on to social play, where they begin to interact with other children. Examples of social play include cooperative social pretend play such as ?sharing? a toy or a game. Howes (1985) states that the use of symbolic is one of the most powerful aspects of shared social play.

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