Play in education is nothing new. In the July 31st cover of The Chronicle for Higher Education the following quote appeared,
Among the many who have been influenced by Vygotsky is Deborah J. Leong,
the author, along with Elena Bodrova, of Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian
Approach to Early Childhood Education,
an attempt to turn his theories
into practical classroom techniques.
Leong, a professor emerita of
psychology at Metropolitan State College
of Denver, points out that
when young children are pretending, they
often use bigger words
than they normally would and fully inhabit their
roles, like mini Method actors.
If they're playing doctor, for instance,
they might say 'injection' or 'thermometer.'
Recently she watched a
group of preschoolers pretending to work at a
well-known chain hardware
store. 'Welcome to Home Depot,' a 4-year-old said.
'You can do it, we
can help.' Meanwhile another group of children,
who were pretending to
be airport screeners, informed a would-be
passenger that a bottle she
was carrying was larger than the permitted three ounces.
Although play may look different with today's children the fact that people not only enjoy but learn from simulation experiences is evident. The art of play a game is one teachers should embrace and provide in each classroom to encourage our students to learn the most natural way they can.