Early Childhood is a complex and diverse field. This text is designed to help students understand and engage with current themes in early childhood, supporting the development of critical thinking skills. Key themes such as children's voice, child wellbeing, identities and professional relationships are presented and opened up for the reader through essential theory and selected extracts. Thought provoking activities in all chapters help students to get a deeper understanding of contemporary themes in early childhood, supporting them in assignment writing and in linking theory to practice.

The Place of Play in the Early Years curriculum

The Place of Play in the Early Years curriculum

The place of play in the early years curriculum
Nick Swarbrick

This chapter looks at a classic definition of play – that of Tina Bruce – and asks about the notion of the ‘use’ of play by teachers and other practitioners. This links with the previous chapter on how children learn, and this chapter explores how play is seen as fundamental to what happens in the Early Years.

By the end of this chapter you should have:

  • come to an understanding about how play can be seen in theory;
  • begun to see some of the tensions around the debates about play in the curriculum;
  • explored ways in which play may and may not be a medium for adult-directed learning in the ...
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