Essay about The Role of Play in Literacy Learning

4663 Words Aug 9th, 2010 19 Pages
Explain the role of play in literacy learning and examine its position in relation to society, the National Curriculum, and cultural issues. In what ways should early playful learning encounters be built upon in the context of schooling?

Within this essay, I shall explain the following; • a definition of play, • the role of culture, • play interactions within a classroom setting, • the predominant focus on speaking and listening within a play literate environment, • examples of playful opportunities that arise within such a setting, • the introduction of making childrens into storytelling through using their own experiences, and lastly, • the oppositional views voiced regarding the ‘play versus
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As culture differs from nation to nation; how we interpret child's play and development also differs from culture to culture. Children's play always imitates and mirrors their own collective values and family’s ethnic traditions. Children play out personally meaningful experiences through their physical environment in their own way, while at the same time their ‘social and cultural environment influences children's play’ in its unique way. (Erickson, 1963; Vygotsky, 1977, chapter 2). Play is an expression of a particular culture, including the child's own ethnic family ethos; it is also, as Schwartzman (1978, p.5) established, an important “context or vehicle for cultural learning and transmission”, as well as a pointer towards the developmental changes of a child and a reflection of their personal experiences.

The Role of Play within a Classroom Setting. Whilst examining the many theories, research and thoughts regarding play, a main question regarding my own teaching philosophy kept re-occurring. What is the nature and purpose of play within the classroom society? Upon further research, it was apparent that there appeared to be a deeply rooted debate between those who advocated a child-centered approach to early learning and those who believed that children needed adult direction and guidance in their play and learning. Concerns were, and

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