Play = Learning: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children's Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth / Edition 1

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Why is it that the best and brightest of our children are arriving at college too burned out to profit from the smorgasbord of intellectual delights that they are offered? Why is it that some preschools and kindergartens have a majority of children struggling to master cognitive tasks that are inappropriate for their age? Why is playtime often considered to be time unproductively spent?

In Play=Learning, top experts in child development and learning contend that the answers to these questions stem from a single source: in the rush to create a generation of Einsteins, our culture has forgotten about the importance of play for children's development. Presenting a powerful argument about the pervasive and long-term effects of play, Singer, Golinkoff, and Hirsh-Pasek urge researchers and practitioners to reconsider the ways play facilitates development across domains. Over forty years of developmental research indicates that play has enormous benefits to offer children, not the least of which is physical activity in this era of obesity and hypertension. Play provides children with the opportunity to maximize their attention spans, learn to get along with peers, cultivate their creativity, work through their emotions, and gain the academic skills that are the foundation for later learning. Using a variety of methods and studying a wide range of populations, the contributors to this volume demonstrate the powerful effects of play in the intellectual, social, and emotional spheres.

Play=Learning will be an important resource for students and researchers in developmental psychology. Its research-based policy recommendations will be valuable to teachers, counselors, and school psychologists in their quest to reintroduce play and joyful learning into our school rooms and living rooms.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Early childhood educators are well aware of the importance of play in children's lives. This volume is a wonderful collection of chapters by eminent authors, who have thought deeply about play and young children's learning. Readers will find it challenging, provocative, reassuring, and enormously satisfying."—Barbara Bowman, Erikson Institute

"In the current era of scientifically-based education and accountability, this book fills a critical gap in the knowledge base—providing an extensive research review of all the ways play enhances learning and development for all children, including those with special needs. This book should help teachers, administrators, teacher educators, and policy makers go beyond the either/or debates of the past. The evidence is clear—children need both hands-on, educationally enriching play experiences and teacher instruction."—Sue Bredekamp, Ph.D., Director of Research, Council for Professional Recognition, Washington, DC, and Former Director of Professional Development, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

"This is a stunning and important book. The authors do more for play than anyone since Vygotsky. In the earliest years, play lays the groundwork for imitative learning, simulation, and contributes to socio-emotional growth. By the third and fourth years, play becomes a critical avenue by which the child experiments with virtual realities and explores future possibilities. Play is sometimes undervalued in the increasingly high-pressured world of child-rearing. This volume transforms how we think about play and is essential reading for developmental psychologists, practitioners, policymakers, and all those who wish to enhance the lives of children."—Andrew N. Meltzoff, co-author, The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind

"In this wonderful book on play, a variety of leading researchers and scholars in the play and child development area review how play helps children develop and learn. There is a special focus on play and the learning process which involves the whole child. This book provides a fresh and up-to-date look at play and areas of adaptive functioning such as literacy, mathematics, and self-regulation. This is a much needed and timely book, as our culture is de-emphasizing the importance of play. Many authors discuss implications of play research for public policy. This book tells us why we, as a society, need to provide time, space, and guidance for children to play."—Sandra W. Russ, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University

"...a realistic appraisal of what play can contribute to early learning such as the links between play and early literacy and language competence and the importance of recess in the primary grades."—Young Children (November 2006)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195304381
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/24/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy G. Singer received her doctorate in School Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is Senior Research Scientist, Department of Psychology, Yale University. She is also Co-Director, with Jerome L. Singer, of the Yale University Family Television Research and Consultation Center. An expert on early childhood development, television effects on youth, and parent training in imaginative play, she has written 20 books and over 150 articles. Her latest books with Jerome L. Singer are Handbook of Children and the Media, Make-Believe: Games and Activities for Imaginative Play, and Imagination and Play in the Electronic Age,=. She co-edited, with Edward F.Zigler and Sandra J.Bishop-Josef, Children's Play: Roots of Reading,, which was selected for CHOICE's Outstanding Academic Title list. Singer received the award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to the Media by Division 46 of APA in 2004.

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff obtained her doctorate from Cornell University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center, she joined the University of Delaware. She holds an H. Rodney Sharp Chair in the School of Education, with joint appointments in Psychology and Linguistics. A Guggenheim Fellow and a James McKeen Cattell award winner, she has written dozens of journal articles, chapters, and academic books, the latest of which is Action Meets Word: How Children Learn Verbs (OUP 2005), edited with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. Committed to dissemination, Golinkoff lectures internationally and has written two popular press books with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek: How Babies Talk and Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less, which was awarded the Multiple Sclerosis Society's Books for a Better Life award. Play=Learning is that book's mantra.

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Professor in the Department of Psychology at Temple University, where she serves as Director of the Infant Language Laboratory. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania. Her research in the areas of early language development and infant cognition has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and Human Development, resulting in 9 books and numerous publications. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, serves as the Associate Editor of Child Development, and is treasurer of the International Association for Infant Studies. With Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, she is co-editor of Action Meets Word: How Children Learn Verbs (OUP 2005) and co-author of How Babies Talk and Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Children Really Learn and Why They Need To Play More and Memorize Less. Hirsh-Pasek has published more than 100 professional articles and has given over 80 invited lectures around the world.

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Table of Contents

1. Why Play=Learning: A Call for Change, Roberta M. Golinkoff, Kathryn A. Hirsh-Pasek, and Dorothy G. Singer
2. The Cognitive Child vs. the Whole Child: Lessons from 40 Years of Head Start, Edward F. Zigler and Sandra J. Bishop-Josef
3. The Role of Recess in Primary School, Anthony D. Pellegrini and Robyn M. Holmes
4. Standards, Science, and the Role of Play in Early Literacy Education, James F. Christie and Kathleen A. Roskos
5. Make-Believe Play: Wellspring for Development of Self-Regulation, Laura E. Berk, Trisha D. Mann, and Amy T. Ogan
6. 'My Magic Story Car': Video-Based Play Intervention to Strengthen Emergent Literary of At-Risk Preschoolers, Harvey F. Bellin and Dorothy G. Singer
7. Narrative Play and Emergent Literacy: Storytelling and Story-acting Meets Journal Writing, Angelika Nicolopoulou, Judith McDowell, and Carolyn Brockmeyer
8. Mathematical Play and Playful Mathematics: A Guide for Early Education, Herbert P. Ginsburg
9. Media Use by Infants and Toddlers: A Potential for Play, Deborah S. Weber
10. Computer as Paint Brush: Technology, Play, and the Creative Society, Mitchel Resnick
11. Pretend Play and Emotion Learning in Traumatized Mothers and Children, Wendy Haight, James Black, Teresa Jacobsen, and Kathryn Sheridan
12. Play and Autism: Facilitating Symbolic Understanding, Melissa Allen Preissler
13. Learning to Play and Learning Through Play, Jerome L. Singer

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