‘Play underpins all development and learning for young children. (EYFS Practice Guidance, 1:17) Discuss this statement with reference to your experience on placement and your reading about different approaches to play and learning. In this essay I will define play, the many different approaches to play and learning and how can it be beneficial to the children’s learning development. I will also discuss the importance of effective multidisciplinary work and demonstrate with examples on how practitioners should plan for an indoor and outdoor environment that reflects inclusiveness and diversity. At last I will underpin the Early Yeas Foundation Stage (EYFS) principles of the reviews put in place.
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Play is when a child is voluntary engaged for a period of time in a child-initiated play or in an organised game structure where body movement could be involved. Children like to act out what they see from adults, it is all about replicating what they see in action, play is usually defined as a natural occurrence, an innocent experience, healthy experience, but most of all it is associated with fun. Jennie Lindon defines play as ‘a range of activities, undertaken for their own interest, enjoyment or satisfaction that results’. (Pound, 2005:73) The adult intervention can be done in different ways, for example, when trying to build relationship or when scaffolding children learning however, it
should be done cautiously so that the child still feels in control of they play.
Play can also be seen in a negative way,
Maria Montessori that’s felt that fantasy in youngs children development wa seen as unimportant
There are positive and negative views on play, different authors sees play a
Play/work Pestalozzi and Froebel
Montessori felt that fantasy play was unimportant and that learning could be developed through purposeful play activities which included moral teaching and using play to improve individuals
She created child sized resources and classrooms in order to practice skills based on everyday life, without the need for adult intervention. Unlike Dewey, Steiner or Froebel, Montessori was more prescriptive with her curriculum of play and placed less emphasis on free flow play
Jerome Bruner suggested that play helped children practice and prepare for adult life in a natural way. He emphasised the importance of games with rules
Te Whariki is the Early Years curriculum in New Zealand was created in 1996 and it supported diversity and cultural aspects. Socio-cultural and community involvement is vital in the curriculum, as people come from different cultural backgrounds and their cultural experiences should be shared in the child’s development. Reflecting upon my setting we celebrate diverse religions and festivals to make sure every child feel included in our teaching practice. For Chinese New Year we had a parent come in to help out in Chinese handwriting activity whereby, children were coming to play in an embedded contextual learning. I agree with Te Whariki curriculum in emphasising the importance of the involvement of the family and the community as an integral part of the child’s learning and development.
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Role of the adult
Froebel emphasised the interaction between mothers and babies been fundamental, children should be educated by a mother figure and as a parent they should be involved in their children development. I do agree with this approach in a certain way; however I believe that parents are the main careers of children and the role of the father is equally important as the mother. In my nursery they are continuously promoting a multidisciplinary approach where both parents are invited for a library day, whereby, they work at the nursery re-arranging the library, issuing notes on the books that children choose to take home for the weekend. The EYFS states that ‘multiagency working can make a unique contribution to preventative and early years interventions services and help children and families secure real improvements in their life outcomes’. (www.nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk, accessed 20/05/2011) The role the teacher is to maintain effective communication a close reciprocal relationship with the parents in order to further develop the child’s learning, at my setting I always say mention to a different parent what was X child doing today and I always praise the child in their achievements.
When talking about the indoor and outdoor, use this, but then say say how it should be planned
Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) believed in child centred activity where children become the centre of the attention in the nursery. He also believed that children’s education was vital to their development as individuals. Elsewhere he suggested that an early start to learning allows children to gain knowledge form infancy which could be later develop in adulthood. In my setting children are encouraged to play outside, exploring nature on a sensory first hand experience and in Froebel’s approach of theory he supports power of nature where children should be encouraged to play in the children’s garden. ‘He believed that space and light were essential to learning, ‘(Pound, 2005) In my setting, from time to time, they re-arrange the indoor space in order to give children the flexibility to move around freely to their self-chosen activities. There is an interconnectedness between life, beauty and knowledge.
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