Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Curriculum in Play-Based Contexts

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_215-5

What is Play?

The maxim that “children learn through play” is a pedagogical given in early years settings. Teachers and parents recognize that play serves many valuable purposes. It fosters children’s physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development. It provides opportunities for high-level reasoning, insightful problem solving, and creative thought. Play-based curriculum is developed from the children’s interests and gives rise to their creative explorations of the environment. Despite play traditionally being defined as engaging in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose, many educationalists have pursued other definitions. For example, Somerset ( 1995) wrote:

To children, play is work, hard work, their business in life … This self-activated learning … is termed merely play perhaps because children choose what they learn, take their own time about it, and enjoy it all. (p. 15)

It has been argued that play has a quality that enables...

Keywords

Early Childhood Teacher Insightful Problem Basic Science Concept Early Childhood Center Creative Exploration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

  1. Bergen D (2008) New technologies in early childhood. Partners in play? In: Saracho O, Spodek B (eds) Contemporary perspectives on science and technology in early childhood education. Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, pp 87–104Google Scholar
  2. Davis B, Sumara D, Luce-Kapler R (2008) Engaging minds. Changing teaching in complex times, 2nd edn. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Esach H, Fried MN (2005) Should science be taught in early childhood? J Sci Educ Technol 14:315–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Somerset G (1995) Work and play in the early years, 4th edn. Playcentre Publications, AucklandGoogle Scholar
  5. Thomas D, Brown JS (2011) A new culture of learning: cultivating the Imagination for a world of constant change. CreateSpace, LexingtonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand