The NY Times has a wonderful article about the importance of play in today’s paper, Play’s the Thing… http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/garden/06play.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper
I think that it’s really worth reading every line of the article and discussing it with colleagues and parents. Unfortunately, the writer, Hilary Stout, really doesn’t take it the next step: How do we support play in school and keep to the new learning standards?
What is the role of the teacher in children’s classroom play? How can the teacher scaffold children’s play without presenting ‘tasks’ and directives? What should classroom play look like in kindergarten? In first grade? In second grade?
The article describes how one parent’s interest was “piqued when she toured her local elementary school…before Benjamin (her son) was to enroll in kindergarten. She still remembered her own kindergarten classroom from 1985: it had a sandbox, blocks and toys. But this one had a wall of computers and little desks.” “There’s no imaginative play anymore, no pretend,” Ms. Wilson said with a sigh.
It is SO important for early childhood educators to think about and discuss this dilemma. What do we think about this?
I REALLY hope that you will send in your thoughts, concerns, suggestions, etc. after reading the article!