The child’s ability to play in a sustained manner opens the gates to all other pathways

“Sara Smilansky studied many areas of academic readiness; children are not one-dimensional, nor does their development proceed along a well-defined path.  Everything we add to the mix along with play further advances learning.  Drawing, clay, books, music, games, and dance suggest but a few areas of enrichment.  However, it is the child’s ability to play in a sustained manner that makes sense to other children, which opens the gates to all other pathways.   In dramatic play, language becomes more vivid and spontaneous, enabling young children to connect, with greater fluency and curiosity, the words and phrases they know to new ideas.  The process involves not only the flow of words and imagery but of shared myth and metaphor, of knowing where the lost babies are and whether a dad can have sharp teeth like a wolf. …Furthermore, fluency is a reciprocal process, with teacher and student feeding each other ideas.  There are teaching moments in children’s play and stories that go well beyond ‘B is for bear.’  How do we extend the fluency of our teaching so that the art of teaching is in harmony with the art of fantasy play? How can the process even begin without belief in the potential of children’s play?

Ref: p.73 Vivian Gussin Paley (2004) A Child’s work; the importance of fantasy play.  The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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