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Theories of Play
Transcript of Theories of Play
1837 Froebel founded his first kindergarten, for children aged 3-7.
Kindergarten is derived from the German word meaning 'childrens garden'.
'Pretend play' was encouraged both outdoors and indoors. He believed that children learn about their world through directly exploring materials they find in their environment.
He felt that children learn best through imaginative play.
Learning through songs and rhymes was encouraged; Finger play (games involving finger movements: 'Incey Wincey Spider' is one children play now)
Renowned for his advocacy of play with various kinds of wooden blocks. It was his belief that this play encouraged children to understand mathematical concepts and relationships. This type of play is widely used today.
At the time Froebel lived, his ideas were considered unusual.
After his death child-centred kindergartens became popular in Germany and later throughout Europe. Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) British psychologist and teacher, was influenced by Froebel's beliefs.
Placed a high value on play and believed that it helped children develop a balanced view of life.
Desk-based learning was discouraged; instead, children were involved in movement as a means of learning.
She believed that play experiences should encourage children to explore their inner feelings and emotions.
Believed that parents were the main educators of their children. Susan Isaacs (1885-1948) British educator, also influenced by Frobbel.
Believed that first-hand experience and active learning were extremely important.
Felt that play allowed a child to develop into a whole person.
Believed that children should have access to a wide range of materials and be allowed to play freely.
With her sister Rachel, McMillan established preschools designed to be an extension of and support for the home and to work in partnership with parents.
Emphasised that children could not learn or play if they were undernourished or deprived, so she campaigned to have schools offer meals and medical services.
Encouraged early childhood workers to be imaginative and inventive in their approach. Play is an essential and important part of a child's growth, development and learning. In the last century, society's attitude towards play has
changed immensely. Today play is accepted, encouraged
and considered an essential part of a child's life. This belief
is reflected in the early years' curriculum at preschools and schools.
Certain theorists have had a significant impact on learning through play and are seen as pioneers in early education.
The work of five influential theorists is outlined in the
following prezi slides. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) Italian doctor and educationalist who worked with poor children in Rome. She observed children's development and came to believe that children needed to experience concepts such as shapes and order through structured play.
Unlike Froebel, Montessori felt that imaginative play was not useful.
Felt strongly that young children were highly receptive to learning and that it was important not waste this time in their lives- learning could not be left to chance.
Children were encouraged to work quietly when using equipment and were individually guided by an adult. Montessori believed that children would become independent learners in this way.
Play was not encouraged in the same way as Froebel. Children did however take part in free creative work after they had studies a sequence of exercises using specifically designed instructional materials.
The idea of structuring play has become an acceptable practice in preschools. Montessori's methods and materials are still popular in the Montessori schools that are established all over the world. Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925) Croation-born Steiner studied natural sciences at Vienna University. He was an advocate of community education and believed that the relationship between child and teacher was very important.
Adults encouraged to observe a childs temperament and plan work accordingly with that child.
Children with special needs were encouraged to be a part of the community and work with other children
Steiner described three phases of childhood:
the will: from 0-7 years, a period when the body and spirit fuse.
the heart: from 7-14 years, a phase when feelings are important.
the head: from 14 years onwards, which is a period of thinking.
Steiner believed that a vegetarian diet and proper rest were essential for life and learning. Steiner community schools that follow his original methods can be found in Europe and many other parts of the world. Margaret McMillan (1860-1931) The earliest educational toys, each gift was presented to the child at a key developmental stage and encourages visual problem solving and awareness of mathematical concepts through play.