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Learning through Play

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Laura Falconer

on 23 May 2011

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Transcript of Learning through Play

Finish Start Finish The Meaning of Play My Experiences... Playing with my brother
at my Gran and Grandad's
house I had the freedom to
explore and make my own
mistakes in an environment
full of natural resources
at my fingertips The lessons I learnt through these positive
experiences have given me knowledge which I have been
able to transfer and use in a variety of different situations.
I know that I was very lucky to have such a rare and
beneficial environment to learn from. Learning through Play A Critical Analysis of the Play Based Approach
of Learning and Teaching in Early Level Lets Play! Learning through Play? You wouldn't have to travel too far back
in time for this to be considered madness! Entire lesson written on the blackboard... Not very engaging Handy desk to keep any
literacy tools... No need to get out of
your seat for any active
learning A world map here, an old
painting there... Not the most motivating
learning environment All eyes facing forward Not ideal for any
groupwork ? ? ? 1782 - 1852 Froebel did not agree with
these old fashioned classroom
layouts. Instead he emphasised the
importance of songs and rhymes
being used to stimulate the children Froebel also saw the importance
of playing outdoors and making
full use of natural materials in play Field Experience Connection Froebel's Gifts Froebel provided materials within
the nursery which he refered
to as "Gifts" It is interesting to see how Froebel's methods
are still being used in first level education The materials in the environment
can be changed depending on the
current interests of the children Froebels 'gifts' are key materials found in most nurseries today
alongside plenty stories, nursery rhymes and songs to stimulate
the children and extend their imaginations. Maria Montessori Montessori is said to have contrasting views
on the play based approach however it is evident
that some of her methods are still used in many
of today's nurseries. 1870 - 1952 Unlike Froebel, Maria Montessori believed that
children needed structured learning opportunities. She also believed that children should be taught how to use
materials before they could experiment with them. Additionally, Montessori thought that children should work
alone as this would encourage them to become
independant learners. Montessori's Methods on Placement Aswell as having contrasting views from theoriests such as Friedrich Froebel, Montessori made some valid points about the layout of the nursery learning environment. She believed that the nursery should be organised into sections for each activity. All play materials should be accessible to the children as she believed that children should be active in their own learning. Any learning environment (indoors or outdoors) should be prepared and organised with appropriate resources which will benefit the children. Two different approaches to play... ...work well together? could Froebel's free flow playing environment based
on the interests of the children. Children playing together - developing their relationships. A structured yet child-centred environment which is full of varying
resources that the children can easily access. Adults are present to provide purposeful
learning experiences but not to direct
the play or intervene unnecessarily. Froebel believed that play allowed children to "come out of themselves" and experience real life situations in order to make sense of them. Benefits of the play based approach... Children have a built in desire to be involved in play. They try to find out the answers to their own questions, making play non-threatening yet still challenging. Ownership and control over their own learning. Encourages creativity Social development. Exercises body and mind. Its fun! What happened next...? Froebel's ideas of play influenced subsequent pioneers such as: Margaret McMillan
Susan Isaacs 1860 - 1931 1885 - 1948 Margaret McMillan Believed that children learned
best through Margaret McMillan believed that
children learned best through purposeful play Prepared learning
opportunities from
adults within a motivating learning environment Plenty of human
interaction Engaging learning environment to stimulate
the children and their play Similar to Froebel she favoured
role play as a method of understanding
real life experiences. Studying Play... more closely ? Challenges! "Social and cultural preferences affect the
development of play" Vs Which environment is best? Playing will create a Genius? ...No Emotional Physical Social Language Cognitive Social

Emotional Learn to work with others,
take turns and co-operate Cognitive


Physical Develop senses
Improve body control, muscles and co-ordination Learn about others
feelings Learning through Play Improve communication skills
Express feelings and thoughts Express feelings How can Play develop
Literacy? Young children learn through all their senses
- by touching, feeling, smelling, tasting, hearing
moving and exploring." Sandra Smidt (1998) Perceptions and knowledge of the surrounding world
will encourage development of language Therefore plenty play experiences
which involve children using any
of the activities mentioned above can encourage language development Becoming a writer... "The most significant piece of meaningful writing in every child's life is probably his or her first name." (Whitehead, 2007) Learning Environment
to aid the
Play-Based Approach The early years environment is created to ensure that the children are engaged and motivated in their play. Additionally, it should also
provide the possibilities for the
play to be extended. Changes in the environment
should reflect the interests of the children. Smidt, S. (1998) The early years: a reader, London: Routledge Experiential Learning Moon, J., A. (2004) A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice, London: Routledge David Kolb's cycle shows how a child's
previous experiences can be reflected upon,
adapted and used in different situations to
create new experiences. A nursery class which provides
ample play related learning experiences
allow children to use prior knowledge in
a different situation - deepening their understanding! Whitbread, N. (1972) The evolution of the nursery-infant school: a history of infant and nursery education in Britain, 1800-1970, London: Routledge What experiences develop which skills? It is difficult to pin point exactly what a child is learning during a specific learning experience... However, certain play activities can ensure progression and achievement of specific skills... Such as Literacy Consider Previous Experience! "Parents are the child's first teacher." Cullingford (2001) How can we extend what the children already know? ? Role Play Corner "Becoming a writer" Previous experience Plenty of resources to support
the play - scrap paper, notepads,
writing tools... Drawing Table Practicing holding writing instruments Building small muscles in the fingers
in order to improve writing Construction Book Corner Becoming a Reader labelling Pretending to read Alphabet letters Environmental Print Picture Books Talking and Listening Children develop their listening and talking skills
through most co-operative play situations... Developing social skills Show and Tell Circle Time Role Play New experiences = New opportunities The Adult Role Comforting and safe Comfortable setting I would now be
happy to answer
any questions Thank You
Listening (The Teacher) Planning Assessing Evaluating Observing Preparing a Stimulating Environment The teacher must use his or her observations in order
to identify what the child already knows and what their
interests are. The teacher must then use the knowledge they have built up about each child to plan
and create various learning opportunities. Through further observation and discussion
the teacher can assess how the children react and engage
with new experiences. Using the information they have gathered
through observation and discussion the teacher
can evaluate their choices and how the children reacted - including positive aspects and areas for development Structured Environment Making the children aware of the different areas of play and
where to find specific materials. Bruce (2001) Becoming Involved in Play ...without dominating Bruce (2001) stresses the importance of
adult involvement in play as a way of gathering
individual information about each child's learning. It is important that adults
remain background characters in
the play so that the children continue
to be in control of the plot With a deeper knowledge of what
is happening during play the involved
adult can provide beneficial ways to extend the learning Whitbread (1972) Assessing Assessment in the early years
consists mostly of observation Bruce (2001) Observations of each child are recorded and evaluated by the teacher who then plans their next steps. Hutt (1989) Froebel believed that formal assessment
during the early years simply allowed
children to "learn failure" - which could
potentially damage their enthusiasm to learn (Froebel (1896) Environmental Print which is relevant to the Children "What I did in the Summer Holidays" - Wall Display Newspapers and Magazines in the Role Play Corner Learning Opportunities which Change with the Interests of the Child Placement experiences... Bonfire Night - Role Play, Playdough and Art Table Farms - Construction, Role Play, Book Corner Easter - Art Table, Outdoor Play, Book Corner, Baking Area Safe and Comforting Whitehead (2007) Whithead believed that the early
years environment should encourage children to feel relaxed, safe and confident while learning. For example Decorating the books corner with cushions, attractive books (easily accessed), props (perhaps relating to some of the books) and ideally away from the noisy parts of the nursery Play is the highest form of learning? Froebel (1896) Adapted from Smidt (1998) The Play-Based Approach by Laura Falconer Links to the Curriculum for Excellence "The curriculum aims to ensure that all children
and young people in Scotland develop the knowledge,
skills and attributes they will need to flourish in life, learning
and work, now and in the future." Learning and Teaching Scotland Skills which cannot be physically taught Social, Cognitive or Emotional Successful Learners Confident Individuals Responsible Citizens Effective Contributors Play - to the untrained eye! Child centred learning Using knowledge which has
been learnt to solve problems Improves self efficacy Bandura (1997) Cudi
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