IS THE RE A NY C ONNE C TION B E TWE E N THE S E TWO PIC TURE S ?
RE VIE W Classical and Current Theories of Play
What do we know aboutthe study of play? Where should our search for information begin?
E arly Influences onPlay S cholars hip • Plato • Comenius • John Locke • Rousseau • Pestalozzi • Froebel
E arly C ontributions tothe S tudy of Play • Johann Amos Comenius Children are innately curious, and different materials should be used to encourage their creativity. • John Locke Children are a blank slate and can learn through play when adults use toys to teach concepts. • Jean-Jacques Rousseau Children are innately good, and nature is a primary force in learning. • Pestalozzi Children should be free to explore, and they learn through action (learn by doing). • Friedrich Froebel Children learn through play.
Froebel’s E ducationalPedagogy • free self-expression • creativity • social participation • motor expression
Froebel’s Gifts• Object lessons can be extended by specific objects.• He specifically designed 10 that he believed were important: 1. solids (balls) 6. proportion 2. shapes 7. surfaces 3. number 8. lines and circular 4. extent 9. points 5. symmetry 10. reconstruction
Froebel’s G iftsFirs t G ift: S olids (B all on s tring)
Froebel’s G iftsFirs t G ift: S olids (B all on s tring) The first gift is six soft, round spheres with strings that the child can manipulate. These are generally made of different colored worsted wool and measure about an inch and a half. The round balls can be manipulated by the child, rolled along a surface, or tossed into the air. This shape reflects the round spheres that occur in nature and expresses the idea of individuality—that “we are here”(1895, p. 285).
Froebel’s GiftsS econd Gift: S hapes In contrast with the softness of the first gift, the second gift is hard. Wooden spheres, cubes, and cylinders can be manipulated to demonstrate different properties. These can be manipulated and moved through the air. This expresses the concept of personality.
Froebel’s G iftsThird Gift: Number The third gift consists of eight cubes (1 x 1 inch) that can be put together to form a 2-inch cube (2 x 2 x 2). This is designed to stimulate self-selected or solitary play.
Froebel’s G iftsFourth G ift: E xtent The fourth gift expands the notion of the third gift to rectangles. It consists of eight rectangle-shaped blocks (2 x 1 x ½) that form a 2-inch cube. This is designed to encourage obedience because it says to the child, “Study us” (p. 286).
Froebel’s G iftsFifth G ift: S ymmetry A combination of rectangles, squares, half shapes, and quartered shapes form a 3-inch cube (3 x 3 x 3). This gift is designed to stimulate an interest in unity and beauty.
Froebel’s GiftsS ixth Gift: Proportion Twenty-seven brick-shaped blocks, three bisected longitudinally and six bisected transversely, forming a 3-inch cube. Obedience is the goal of this gift as the child controls and manipulates the blocks.
Froebel’s GiftsS eventh Gift: S urfaces Squares and equilateral triangles can be used to create designs.
Froebel’s G iftsE ighth G ift: Lines and C ircular
Froebel’s G iftsE ighth G ift: Lines and C ircular The gift of lines is found in straight sticks of various lengths that reflect multiples of the third gift, a 1- inch cube. Rings reflect knowledge of circular entities. Wooden, metal, or paper rings of various sizes; whole circles, half circles, and quadrants are included.
Froebel’s GiftsNinth Gift: Points The ninth gift consists of points such as beans, lentils, or other seeds, leaves, pebbles, pieces of cardboard paper, and so forth. The child has progressed from the solid to the point. This last gift enables the child to represent the surface and solid with points.
Froebel’s GiftsTenth Gift: Recons truction The child can reconstruct the set of gifts from the solid to the point using sticks and a material for holding them together. (See F. Froebel  for additional details.)
POP QUIZ! 20 MINUTES DRILL – a group of two (pair activity) • List all 10 gifts as stated by Froebel. • Draw each of them.
Froebel’s Occupations The occupations furnish material for practice in certain skills, lead to invention, and give the child power. These activities develop fine motor skills as well as contribute to the child’s sense of self- esteem.
E xamples (cont.)Points: stringing beads, buttons, perforatingReconstruction: reconstruct the surface and solid synthetically from the point. It consists of softened peas or wax pellets and sharpened sticks or straws. (Adapted from Froebel, 1885)
Classical Theories of Play Surplus energy theory of play Relaxation and recreation theories of play Practice (or pre-exercise) theory of play Recapitulation theory of play
S urplus E nergyTheory of Play Children have too much energy and play rids them of excess energy. (Von Schiller, 1954) Criticism No evidence exists to support theory. The reason for play would be the same reason for work.
Relaxation and RecreationTheories of Play Play is necessary to regenerate energy used at work. (G. Patrick, 1916) Criticism No evidence exists to support the theory. Play can be as exhausting as work.
Practice or Pre-E xercis eTheory of Play Play develops skills necessary for functioning as an adult. (Groos, 1901) Criticism—children may practice what they see adults do, but they cannot know what will occur in the future.
Recapitulation Theoryof Play Eliminate ancient instincts by reliving evolutionary history of the human species. (G. Stanley Hall, 1916) Criticism—if evolution is still occurring, it should also be evident in play.
C hild S tudy Movement G. Stanley Hall—father of American Playground Movement Patty Smith Hill—promoted free play and large hollow blocks Caroline Pratt—unit blocks Harriet Johnson—block play at Bank Street
Modern S cholarsof Play Freud Erikson Dewey Piaget Vygotsky
Freud The child’s motivation is to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The pleasure principle is the primary motivation to play.
E riks onPurpose of Play Play as ego mastery for emotional development Play as social Play as a lifelong phenomenon
E riks on’s Play Levels The autocosmic level of play occurs in the first year of life when children explore, experience, and investigate their own body as they discover that they are separate from other people.
E riks on’s Play Levels• Microsphere – Toys are used in two ways. • Props for acting out their emotions • Tools to discover the limits of rules established by caregivers – Child gains mastery over the world as she controls toys and materials.
E riks on’s Play Levels• Macrosphere—The child develops a shared view of the world as she engages in sociodramatic play and games.
Piaget• Purpose of play – Play provides for wish fulfillment. – Play follows development. – Play allows children to sublimate reality through a process involving accommodation and assimilation.
Piaget (cont.)• Accommodation occurs when the child adjusts the mental schema to accept new knowledge.• Assimilation occurs when the individual fits information into existing mental structures.• Play is disequilibrium with an imbalance of assimilation and accommodation with a dominance of assimilation over accommodation.
Vygots ky• Purpose of play – Ego mastery – Rule bound• Play allows child to engage in wish fulfillment.• Play creates the zone of proximal development. Play leads to development and is the highest level of intellectual development prior to formal instruction.• “The child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior; in play it is as though he were a head taller than himself” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 102).• Play leads to development.
Influential S cholars• Mildred Parten—play occurs in separate, distinguishable social levels.• Jerome Bruner—play leads to cognitive adaptation.• Brian Sutton-Smith—play is inter-disciplinary and necessary for survival.• Gail Carnella—play may not be valuable.