Play, Learning and the Early Childhood Curriculum
Publication Year: 2005
This timely second edition explores recent developments which strongly endorse play as an integral part of the curriculum. The content has been fully revised to reflect contemporary thinking about the role and value of play in early childhood and beyond. A key focus is the provision of a secure theoretical and practical grounding for developing a pedagogy of play.
This book enables practitioners to create unity between play, learning and teaching, and to improve the quality of children's learning. New material provided by practitioners has been added, to show how this unity can be successfully achieved.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: The Problems with Play
- Chapter 2: Ideologies, Ideals and Theories
- Chapter 3: Understanding Children's Learning: Multi-Theoretical Perspectives
- Chapter 4: Contemporary Socio-Cultural Theories
- Chapter 5: Developing Play in the Curriculum
- Chapter 6: Developing a Pedagogy of Play
- Chapter 7: Assessing Children's Learning in Play
- Chapter 8: Improving the Quality of Play
About the Authors[Page ii]
Elizabeth Wood is Reader in Early Childhood Education at the University of Exeter. She teaches on a range of post-graduate programmes and runs in-service courses for teachers and other early years practitioners. Elizabeth has co-directed two ESRC funded research projects with Neville Bennett: Reception Teachers' Theories of Play (1995-97) and Progression and Continuity in the Early Years (1999-2000). She was involved in the JUDE project on literacy and underachievement, which spans Key Stages 1 to 4. She has authored books and articles based on her research interests in play, young children's learning, early childhood pedagogy, and underachievement.
Jane Attfield is an experienced early years teacher who has taught in nursery and infant classes in New Guinea, England and Australia. She was the coordinator of a Local Authority funded Play Project at a school in Dorset. Jane completed her Master of Education degree at Exeter University, and her research into the Play Project is used substantially in the book.
© Elizabeth Wood and Jane Attfield 2005
First published in 1996
Second Edition published in 2005
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.
Paul Chapman Publishing
A SAGE Publications Company
1 Oliver's Yard
55 City Road
London EC1Y 1SP
SAGE Publications Inc
2455 Teller Road
SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd
B-42, Panchsheel Enclave
Post Box 4109
New Delhi 110 017
Library of Congress Control Number: 2004117260
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Play, learning and the early childhood curriculum
1. Early childhood education 2. Play I. Title II. Attfield, Jane
ISBN 0-7619-4173-8 (cased)
Typeset by TW Typesetting, Plymouth, Devon
Printed in Great Britain by Athenaeum Press Ltd, Gateshead
[Page vi]For Liz and David, two master players
We were delighted when we were asked to write the second edition of this book. Much has happened since the first edition in the arenas of policy development, research and practice. Early childhood education is at the heart of policy-making agendas in England and many other developed and developing countries. Concerns with the quality of provision have sparked a massive international research endeavour, which is seeking to identify effective provision and practice in different cultures, and in different early childhood settings. There is also a thriving international play scholarship which ranges broadly across many different themes that are central to high-quality provision and effective teaching and learning. Contemporary research studies in the field of play are exciting in their foci, innovative in their methods and contentious in the eclecticism of their theoretical frameworks. The field remains open to debate, discussion and argument regarding the role and value of play in learning and development. Nevertheless, there have been many practical outcomes that are of direct relevance to practitioners as they strive towards improving the quality of play.
This second edition reflects these trends, and draws substantially on academic and practitioner research. Guided by feedback from readers of the first edition, we have aimed to integrate theory and practice throughout the book. The first four chapters focus mainly on theoretical frameworks, which explain different aspects of learning, the benefits of different forms of play, and a rationale for a play-based curriculum and pedagogy. The second half of the book develops the theme of creating unity between playing, learning and teaching. We have highlighted ongoing issues, questions and dilemmas that practitioners encounter, and have provided many practical examples to show how these have been addressed.
The first edition was based substantially on Jane's research for her Master of Education degree. Her observations and documentation of children's play-based activities remain just as relevant. In addition, we are privileged to present the practice-based evidence from the work of early childhood [Page viii]practitioners who have been involved in in-service and modular degree programmes at Exeter University. Our thanks are due to all these dedicated and enthusiastic practitioners, and especially to Joanna Cook, Amanda Kersey, Charlotte Rowland, Sheena Wright, Diann Cudmore and Jaqui Bamford for their observations and analyses of children and adults at play. The practitioners that Elizabeth has worked with have provided inspiration in their ongoing commitment to valuing, defending and improving play in their settings. They form a resilient core of enthusiastic proponents for play, and active resisters of policy directives that are not in tune with how young children learn.
We hope that this second edition will inform and inspire practitioners, provoke debate, encourage reflection and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong playing and learning.and
Bibliography[Page 238]Abbott, L. and Nutbrown, C. (eds) (2001) Experiencing Reggio Emilia: Implications for Pre-school Provision, Buckingham, Open University Press.2004) Inside the Foundation Stage. Recreating the Reception Year, London, Association of Teachers and Lecturers., , and (1995) A National Curriculum for Key Stage 1, in A.Anning (ed.) A National Curriculum for the Early Years, Buckingham, Open University Press.(1997) The First Years at School ((2nd edition), Buckingham, Open University Press.1999) Promoting Children's Learning from Birth to Five, Buckingham, Open University Press.and (2004) Making Sense of Children's Drawings, London, Sage.and (Anning, A., Cullen, J. and Fleer, M. (2004) (eds) Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture, London, Sage.1990) Extending Thought in Young Children, Paul Chapman, London.(1992) The Possibilities and Value of Assessing Children's Learning Through Play at Key Stage 1, Unpublished M.Ed. thesis, University of Exeter.(1998) Exploring Play in the Primary Classroom, London, David Fulton.and (1997) Creative Children, Imaginative Teaching, Buckingham, Open University Press.(1989) A Good Start? Four Year Olds in Infant Schools, Oxford, Blackwell.and (1997) Teaching through Play: Teachers' Thinking and Classroom Practice, Buckingham, Open University Press., and (2001) Play Today in the Primary School Playground, Buckingham, Open University Press.and (2002) More Questions than Answers?, Interplay, Summer 2002, 24–30.(Blenkin, G. and Kelly, A.V. (1994) (eds) The National Curriculum and Early Learning. An Evaluation, London, Paul Chapman.1994) Story Drama: Reading, Writing and Roleplaying Across the Curriculum, London, Pembroke Publishers.(1946) Play in the Infants' School ((2nd edition), London, Methuen.1976) Margaret McMillan Framework and Expansion of Nursery Education, Surrey, Denholm Press.(Bredekamp, S. and Copple, S. (eds) (1997) Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth Through 8 ([Page 239]revised edition), Washington, DC, National Association for the Education of Young Children.1997) Promoting Sociability and Co-operation in Nursery Settings, British Educational Research Journal, 23 (4), 513–531. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0141192970230408(2001) Investigating Sociability and Co-operation in Four and Five Year Olds in Reception Class Settings, International Journal of Early Years Education, 9 (1), 24–35.(2004) Early Years Play and Learning, Developing Social Skills and Co-operation, London, RoutledgeFalmer. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203465257(2002) Starting School – Young Children Learning Cultures, Buckingham, Open University Press.(1999) Drama Games with 6-year-old Children: Possibilities and Limitations, in Y.Engeström, R.Miettinen and R-L.Punamaki (eds) Perspectives on Activity Theory, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 250–263.(1966) Toward a Theory of Instruction, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.(1991) The Nature and Uses of Immaturity, in M.Woodhead, R.Carr, and P.Light (eds) Becoming a Person, London, Routledge/Open University Press.(1996) The Culture of Education, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.(Bruner, J.S., Jolly, A. and Sylva, K. (eds) (1976) Play: Its Role in Development and Evolution, London, Penguin.2000) Technological Affordance, Social Practice and Learning Narratives in an Early Childhood Setting, International Journal of Technology and Design, 10, 61–79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1008986002620(2001a) Assessment in Early Childhood Settings: Learning Stories, London, Paul Chapman.(2001b) A Sociocultural Approach to Learning Orientation in an Early Childhood Setting, Qualitative Studies in Education, 14 (4), 525–542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09518390110056921(2002) Profiles of Play, London, Jessica Kingsley.(1987) Teaching Five to Eight Year Olds, Oxford, Basil Blackwell., and (1993) The Development of Play ((2nd edition), London, Croom Helm.1991) The Development of Imagination: The Private Worlds of Childhood, London, Routledge.and (2003) Progression and Continuity in Role Play in the Foundation Stage, Unpublished M.Ed. thesis, University of Exeter.(2004) The Consequences of Socio-cultural Assessment, in A.Anning, J.Cullen and M.Fleer (eds) Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture, London, Sage, 95–106.and (Department for Education and Employment (1997) Excellence in Schools, London, DfEE.Department for Education and Employment (1998) The National Literacy Strategy, London, DfEE.Department for Education and Employment (1999) The National Numeracy Strategy, London, DfEE.Department for Education and Employment (2001) Code of Practice for the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs (revised), London, DfEE.Department for Education and Science (1989) Aspects of Primary Education: The Education of Children Under Five, London, HMSO.[Page 240]Department for Education and Science (1990) Starting With Quality: Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Quality of Educational Experiences Offered to 3- and 4-Year Olds (Rumbold Report), London, HMSO.Department for Education and Skills (2003) Excellence and Enjoyment: A Strategy for Primary Schools, London, DfES.1987) Programmes of Early Education – The Constructivist View, New York, Longman.and (2001) Planning Children's Play and Learning in the Foundation Stage, London, David Fulton.(2002) Early Learning Goals for Children With Special Educational Needs: Learning Through Play, London, David Fulton.(1999) Supporting Creativity and Imagination in the Early Years, Buckingham, Open University Press.(1997) A Genius in the Family: An Intimate Memoir of Jacqueline Du Pré, London, Vintage.and (Edwards, C., Gandini, L. and Forman, G. (eds) (1993) The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education, Norwood, N.J., Ablex.1991) Primary Understanding: Education in Early Childhood, London, Routledge.(1994) Eliciting Children's Full Potential, California, Wadsworth.and (2002) Starting From the Child? ((2nd edition), Buckingham, Open University Press.1995) Teaching Children to Learn, Cheltenham, Stanley Thornes.(2004) Mapping the Transformation of Understanding, in A.Anning, J.Cullen and M.Fleer (eds) Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture, London, Sage.and (1987) Play, in P.Monighan-Nourot, B.Scales, J.VanHoorn and M.Almy (eds) Looking at Children's Play, New York, Teachers College Press.(1991) Play ((2nd edition), London, Fontana.1999) The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains and How Children Learn, New York, William Morrow and Company., and (1988) Play in School, in G.Blenkin and A.V.Kelly (eds) Early Childhood Education: A Developmental Curriculum, London, Paul Chapman.(Gura, P. (ed.) (1992) Exploring Learning: Young Children and Block Play, London, Paul Chapman.1999) Play and Motivation, in Y.Engeström, R.Miettinen and R-L.Punamaki (eds) Perspectives on Activity Theory, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 231–249. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511812774.016(1994) Play, Literacy and the Role of the Teacher, in J.Moyles (ed.) The Excellence of Play, Buckingham, Open University Press.(2000) Literacy, Play, and Authentic Experience, in K.Roskos and J.Christie (eds) Play and Literacy in Early Childhood: Research from Multiple Perspectives, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum, 189–204.(1992) Play in the Primary Curriculum, London, Hodder and Stoughton.and (1995) Exploring Writing and Play in the Early Years, London, David Fulton.and ([Page 241]2001) Supporting Drama and Imaginative Play in the Early Years, Buckingham, Open University Press.and (1991) Children, Play and Development, Massachusetts, Allyn and Bacon.(1994) The Implications of the National Curriculum for Nursery Education, in G.Blenkin and A.V.Kelly (eds) The National Curriculum and Early Learning. An Evaluation, London, Paul Chapman.(1989) Play, Exploration and Learning, London, Routledge., , and (1992) The Play's The Thing: Teachers' Roles in Children's Play, New York, Teachers College Press.and (2004) Scaffolding Learning and Co-constructing Understandings, in A.Anning, J.Cullen and M.Fleer (eds) Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture, London, Sage, 31–42.(1989) A Child's Play Life: An Ethnographic Study, New York, Teachers College Press.(2003) Putting Vygotsky to the Test, in D.E.Lytle (ed.) Play and Educational Theory and Practice, Play and Culture Studies, Vol. 5, Westport, Conn., Praeger, 59–98.and (Lytle, D.E. (ed.) (2003) Play and Educational Theory and Practice, Play and Culture Studies, Vol. 5, Westport, Conn., Praeger, 59–98.2001) Enhancing Learning Through Play: A Developmental Perspective in Early Years Settings, London, David Fulton.(2000) Rethinking Gender in Early Childhood Education, Buckingham, Open University Press.(1998) Techniques for Teaching Young Children: Choices in Theory and Practice, Australia, Addison Wesley Longman.and (1993) For an Education Based on Relationships, Young Children, November, 9–13.(1999) Desirable Literacies: Approaches to Language and Literacy in the Early Years, London, Paul Chapman.and (2000) Literacy and Popular Culture: Using Children's Culture in the Classroom, London, Paul Chapman.and (1993) The Child As Thinker, Routledge, London.(1988) Helping Children Learn: Contributions to a Cognitive Curriculum, London, David Fulton.and (1994a) Play, Communication and Cognition, Communication and Cognition, 27 (3).(1994b) Disappearing Pegs in the Road: Discovering Meaning in Young Children's Social Play. Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association Conference, 6 April.(1996) Studying Children's Play Through a Child Cultural Approach: Roles, Rules and Shared Knowledge, Advances in Early Education and Day Care, Vol. 7, Social Development, J.A.I. Press.(2002) Observing Children's Play: Mindful Methods. Paper presented to the International Toy Research Association, London, 12 August 2002.(1989) Just Playing? The Role and Status of Play in Early Childhood Education, Buckingham, Open University Press.([Page 242]2002) Study of Pedagogical Effectiveness in Early Learning, Research Report No 363, DfES, London, HMSO., and (1993) Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist, London, Routledge.and (New Zealand Ministry of Education (1996) Te Whariki Early Childhood Curriculum, Wellington, Learning Media Ltd.1996) Respectful Educators – Capable Learners: Children's Rights and Early Education, London, Paul Chapman.(1999) Threads of Thinking: Young Children Learning and the Role of Early Education ((2nd edition), London, Paul Chapman.Office for Standards in Education (2004) Transition from the Reception Year to Year 1, HMI Report number 2221, Ofsted. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk, accessed June 2004.2003) Play, Activity and Thought: Reflections on Piaget's and Vygotsky's Theories, in D.E.Lytle (ed.) Play and Educational Theory and Practice, Westport, Conn., Praeger, 99–116.(1981) Wally's Stories, London, Harvard University Press.(2001) ‘She's Back!’ The Impact of my Visit to Reggio Emilia on a Group of 3- and 4-year olds, in L.Abbott and C.Nutbrown (eds) Experiencing Reggio Emilia: Implications for Pre-school Provision, Buckingham, Open University Press, 80–92.(1991) Applied Child Study: A Developmental Approach, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum.(2000) The Child at School: Interactions With Peers and Teachers, London, Arnold.and (1993) The Role of Play in Early Childhood Development and Education: Issues in Definition and Function, in B.Spodek (ed.) Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children, New York, Macmillan.and (1998) Playing Games and Learning Mathematics: The Results of two Intervention Studies, International Journal of Early Years Education, 6 (1), 49–58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966976980060105(1962) Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood, New York, Norton.(1999) Supporting Mathematical Development in the Early Years, Buckingham, Open University Press.(Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) (1999) Early Years Curriculum for Under Five's Conference Report: The Review of the Desirable Learning Outcomes for Children's Learning. http://www.qca.org.uk/.Qualifications and Curriculum Authority/Department for Education and Employment (2000) Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, Sudbury, QCA Publications, QCA/00/587.2001) Theory in Context and Out, Play and Culture Studies, Vol. 3, Connecticut, Ablex.(2002) Self-esteem and Early Learning, London, Paul Chapman.(1999) Planning an Appropriate Curriculum for the Under Five's, London, David Fulton.(2001) Special Needs in the Early Years: Collaboration, Communication and Co-ordination ((2nd edition), London, David Fulton.1993) The Joint Socialisation of Development, in P.Light, S.Sheldon and M.Woodhead (eds) Learning to Think, London, Routledge/OUP.([Page 243]2003) The Cultural Nature of Human Development, Oxford, Oxford University Press.(2002) Conceptual, Social-Cognitive, and Contextual Issues in the Fields of Play, Play and Culture Studies, Vol. 4, Connecticut, Ablex.(Roskos, K. and Christie, J. (eds) (2000) Play and Literacy in Early Childhood: Research from Multiple Perspectives, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum.1983) Play, in E.M.Etherington (ed.) Handbook of Child Psychology. Vol. IV, Social Development, New York, Wiley., and (1991) The Role of Play in the Early Childhood Curriculum, in B.Spodek and O.Saracho (eds) Issues in Early Childhood Curriculum, New York, Teachers College Press.(2002) Contemporary Perspectives on Early Childhood Curriculum, Connecticut, Information Age Publishing.and (2003) Levels of Analysis in Pretend Play Discourse: Metacommunication in Conversational Routines, in D.E.Lytle (ed.) (2003) Play and Educational Theory and Practice, Play and Culture Studies, Vol. 5, Westport, Conn., Praeger, 59–98.(2000) Early Years Play: A Happy Medium for Assessment and Intervention, London, David Fulton.and (School Curriculum and Assessment Authority/Department for Education and Employment (1996) Nursery Education Scheme: The Next Steps. Desirable Outcomes for Children's Learning, London, SCAA/DfEE.2003) Not Just Piaget; Not Just Vygotsky, and Certainly Not Vygotsky as Alternative to Piaget, Learning and Instruction, 13 (5), 465–485. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4752%2803%2900092-6(Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Siraj-Blatchford, J. (eds) (1995) Educating the Whole Child: Cross-Curricular Skills, Themes and Dimensions, Buckingham, Open University Press.2004) Researching Pedagogy in English Pre-schools, British Educational Research Journal, 30 (4), 713–730. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0141192042000234665and (2002) Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years, Research report No 356, DfES, London, HMSO., , , and (2001) Teaching Young Children: Contexts For Learning, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum.and (1990) Sociodramatic Play: Its Relevance to Behaviour and Achievement in School, in Klugman, E. and Smilansky, S. (eds) Children's Play and Learning: Perspectives and Policy Implications, New York, Teachers College Press.(1990) Childhood, Culture and Class in Britain: Margaret McMillan 1860–1931, London, Virago.(1997) The Ambiguity of Play, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.(1978) Mind in Society (translated and edited by M.Cole, V.John-Steiner, S.Scribner and E.Souberman), Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.(2003) Special Needs and the Early Years, London, Paul Chapman.(2002) Effective Early Childhood Curriculum for Children at Risk, in O.Saracho and B.Spodek (eds) Contemporary Perspectives on Early Childhood Curriculum, Connecticut, Information Age Publishing., and ([Page 244]2004) Developing the Emotionally Literate School, London, Paul Chapman.(1999) How to Promote Children's Social and Emotional Competence, London, Routledge.(1998) Communities of Practice: Learning Meaning and Identity, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511803932(1985) Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.(1999) Supporting Language and Literacy Development in the Early Years, Buckingham, Open University Press.(1971) Playing and Reality, Harmondsworth, Penguin.(1998) How Children Think and Learn, Oxford, Blackwell.(2004) Developing a Pedagogy of Play for the 21st century, in A.Anning, J.Cullen and M.Fleer (eds) Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture, London, Sage, 17–30.(2001) Early Childhood Teachers' Theories of Progression and Continuity, International Journal of Early Years Education, 9 (3), 229–243. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09669760120086974and (1995) Teaching History at Key Stage 1, Cambridge, Chris Kington.and (1991) Becoming a Person, London, Routledge/OUP., and (2003) Children's Mathematics: Making Marks, Making Meaning, London, Paul Chapman.and (2002) Teaching and Learning Through Play, Unpublished module assignment for the degree of M.Ed., Exeter University.(