Posts Tagged ‘Childhood activity of play’
Greek Philosophers Plato and Aristotle discussed the role of play in education, but specific play theories were not developed until centuries later.
The following discussion of a few modern psychological theories and theorists describes the current trends put into “play” in today’s educational settings.
Play as Therapy
In 1920, Sigmund Freud posed a psychoanalytic play theory that was defined in his book “Beyond the Pleasure Principle.”
In this work, Freud described play as a child’s mechanism for repeatedly working out a previously experienced traumatic event in an effort to correct or master the event to his satisfaction.
Play as Rehearsal
In 1972, Bruner stated that one of the main functions of child’s play was to rehearse actions to various real-life scenarios in a safe, risk-free environment so that when confronted with a difficult situation, it would not be so stressful.
Play as Preparation
John Dewey was a prominent theorist in the early 1900s. According to Dewey, play is a subconscious activity that helps an individual develop both mentally and socially. It should be separate from work as play helps a child to grow into a working world.
As children become adults, they no longer “play” but seek amusement from their occupation. This childhood activity of play prepares them to become healthy working adults.
Play as Sensory Learning
Maria Montessori, an Italian educationist during the early 1900s, postulated that “play is the child’s work.” According to the Montessori method, which is still employed today in private schools, children would be best served spending their play time learning or imagining.
Montessori play is sensory, using a hands-on approach to everyday tools like sand tables. The child sets her own pace, and the teacher is collaborative in helping the child play to learn. Read the rest of this entry »