The Play's the Thing: Teachers' Roles in Children's Play / Edition 1

The Play's the Thing: Teachers' Roles in Children's Play / Edition 1

Pub. Date:
Teachers College Press


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The Play's the Thing: Teachers' Roles in Children's Play / Edition 1

Responding to current debates on the place of play in schools, the authors have extensively revised their groundbreaking book. They explain how and why play is a critical part of children's development, as well as the central role adults have to promote it. This classic textbook and popular practitioner resource offers systematic descriptions and analyses of the different roles a teacher adopts to support play, including those of stage manager, mediator, player, scribe, assessor, communicator, and planner. This new edition has been expanded to include significant developments in the broadening landscape of early learning and care, such as assessment, diversity and culture, intentional teaching, inquiry, and the construction of knowledge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807731710
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 04/01/1992
Series: Early Childhood Education Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the First Edition Elizabeth Prescott ix

Foreword to the Second Edition Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Roberta Michnick Golinkoff xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Settings 1

Why Play? 2

Teacher Roles 5

1 Understanding and Supporting Children's Play 7

Stages of Play 8

Modes of Representation 13

The Content of Play 15

Master Players 17

But What Do I Do While They're Playing? 18

2 Teacher as Stage Manager 21

Clarifying Figure-Ground Relationships 22

Providing Enough Props 26

Providing Enough Time 29

3 Teacher as Mediator 32

Teaching Conflict-Resolution Skills 32

Complicating Play to Keep It Safe 34

Problem-Solving to Sustain Play 37

4 Teacher as Player 41

"Call Mikey" 41

"Don't Let the Babies Die" 42

Shopping at the Superstore 43

Picnic 45

The Fish Camp 46

Why Teachers Play 48

5 Teacher Behavior That Interrupts Play 50

Interrupting for One's Own Pleasure in Play 50

Interrupting to Teach Rules 56

Interrupting to Teach Concepts 58

Building on Children's Play 61

6 Teacher as Scribe 63

Representing Children's Play 64

Sharing Representations with Children 66

Stimulating Writing as Play and Communication 70

Writing Can Be Read 72

7 Teacher as Assessor and Communicator 76

Assessment as Part of Planning 77

Can I Learn to Appreciate This Child More? 78

Building on a Child's Strengths 81

Who Is This Child? 82

Communicating to Parents and Other Adults 85

Communicating to Children 88

Accountability: How Do We Know They're Learning? 90

8 Teacher as Planner 93

Emergent Curriculum 94

Looking at the Environment 97

Naming Children's Playscripts 99

Introducing a New Topic 100

Planning for Literacy as a Playscript 105

Play-Debrief-Replay 108

9 Playing Attention to Play 110

Supporting Children Who Have Not Yet Mastered Play 110

Supporting Master Players 112

Teacher Role Development 116

A Place in the World for Children 119

10 A Sense of the Past and the Future 122

The Logic of Human Relationships 123

Stories, Images, and the Creation of Culture 126

Teacher as Keeper of Metaphor 127

From Here and Now to There and Then: Building Bridges of Meaning 131

References 135

Index 144

About the Authors 152

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