Power Of Play Analysis

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Section Three: Evaluation of the Book
In the forward to his book, Elkind identifies his alignment with Piaget’s intellectual theory. This viewpoint is strengthened by his emphasis on the natural desire to play, qualitatively different levels, and other ideas. A specific example of this strength comes through his discussion on the age of reason. He identifies the varying ages at which this age occurs, but notes that reason is a qualitative benchmark in child development that marks the best point at which to introduce formal instruction. He goes on to mention that developmental stages require instruction and play encouragement that are appropriate to the level at which a child is operating (E, 121-123). This follows very closely with
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One that stands out is the idea that parents and teachers play a critical and important role in raising children. Elkind places a lot of emphasis on the need for parents to understand child development and to raise children in a way that integrates play, love, and work. Though people derive different specific applications of Proverbs 22:6, it can generally be applied that the Bible calls parents to be involved in the lives of their children. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (ESV). Training a child should involve making decisions that benefit the child and allow him or her to grow in a positive way, both for parents and for teachers. There are many stories in the Bible that demonstrate parents showing love and concern for their children. Consider examples like the prodigal son or Jacob and Joseph; neither parental example is perfect, but they each demonstrate a proclamation of great love for their children and a heartfelt desire to be involved in their children’s lives. Additional support can be found in Colossians when Paul states, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21, ESV). There is definite implication here that parents should not spur children to frustration and discouragement, but rather that they should train children, guiding them in love. That same demonstration of love and avoidance to provoking anger is …show more content…
He also regularly mentions work, love, and play as being “inborn drives that power human thought and action throughout the life cycle” (E, 3). The contradiction, however, comes with the fact that he regularly brings up the importance of social development and the idea that children’s social and intellectual development particularly increase through dramatic play. In the closing chapter, after reviewing the elements of sociodramatic play as identified by Sara Smilansky, he notes that “in addition to these four elements [Smilansky], sociodramatic play must involve two children and there must be communication between them” (E, 210). This social emphasis would perhaps be better supported by Vygotsky’s theory, which considers greater social involvement. One of its basic assumptions is that “complex mental processes being as social activities and gradually evolve into internal mental activities that children can use independently” (O, 22). In addition to adults conveying expectations and assistance from more competent individuals, the greater emphasis on social influence on development in some ways line up better with Elkind’s ideas about the role of play and especially sociodramatic

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