Play in the Preschool Classroom: Its Socioemotional Significance and the Teacher’s Role in Play

Abstract

The goals of this paper were two-fold. The first goal was to examine the emotional and social developmental value of play in the early childhood classroom. This issue is important because of the recent impetus for a more academic focus in early childhood classrooms, and questions about the developmental benefits of play. The second goal was to examine and discuss the role teachers could play in making play a developmental and educational experience. This is because understanding the significance of play could make teachers less apprehensive about using play to promote learning and development, and enable them answer questions regarding the value of play. Using these goals as a backdrop, this paper discussed views of children’s play; the defining characteristics of emotional and social development; play and the socioemotional development of children; and the role of early childhood teachers in children’s play.

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Correspondence to Godwin S. Ashiabi.

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Ashiabi, G.S. Play in the Preschool Classroom: Its Socioemotional Significance and the Teacher’s Role in Play. Early Childhood Educ J 35, 199–207 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-007-0165-8

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Keywords

  • early childhood teachers
  • preschool children
  • sociodramatic play
  • socioemotional development