Monday, 3 September 2012

Thoughts on: Play and Pedagogy in Early Childhood 3

Play and Pedagogy in Early Childhood - Bending the Rules, by Sue Dockett & Marilyn Fleer (1999)

This book is due back next week, so I'm rushing through these jottings. 

Section 1. Theories of Play.
Section 2. A New Look at Play?
Section 3. Analysing Play.
Section 4. Play in Action.

My take-away:  This is the most interesting to me. It covers some of my concerns – Cultural Play, Power & Play, Technology & Play, Adults in Play, Individual Differences in Play.

Since having read this section, I have stopped worrying about Atilla’s playing. I am now more observant, supportive, encourage his style of play, and participate in his play more. 

I am more relaxed about including technology in his Play – Wii machine, iPad, television (dvd).

Power/Control in Play is a provoking thought. 

The Aborigine kids are supported to be autonomous in their eating, sleeping, and walks. They eat when and what they want to eat, they sleep when they choose to sleep, and walk as far as they want to walk.

In the Western world, there is the concept of Friend, nor Not Friend – an In Group and Out Group which can develop between 2-5yo. This freaks me out. What if my kid continues this discrimination? Worse, what if he is in the Out Group? 

Gender is another aspect. Girls tend to home-making play, because they identify with the Mum who has most power at Home. Boys tend not to identify with home-making play because often the girls delegate them to non-power roles. Boys tend towards violence and Super Hero Play, however they can be guided towards Support Role Play (e.g. Super Heros need to eat, have clothes, etc).

Therapy Play is not a new thing. However the interpretation of the Play requires lots of context.
Atilla enjoys putting Caillou to bed. Caillou gets covered with a blanket, and patted quite hard on the chest. When I first saw this (3 weeks ago) I interpreted this as Rough Play. Last night Atilla and I replicated putting Caillou to bed, but with Atilla as ‘Caillou’. Atilla indicated he likes being patted quite hard – Mummy was patting too gently for his liking. So now I know.

Adults in Play organise the Space, materials, time, and support to allow the Play to occur. I love this description so much.

The program on mapping emerged from the [4-5yo] children’s keen interest in China…

Having just finished a unit on Chinese New Year, the children had become very adept at pointing out China and Australia on a globe. Towards the end of the Chinese New Year unit, one of the children suggested that we should visit China. This began a discussion on how to get there, during which we referred to the globe to look at water and land. 

These were quite difficult concepts for the children to master. However, we finally determined that it would take too long to go to China in one day so it wasn’t really a feasible excursion. 

From ‘Hush! It’s Grandma Poss and Burra mapping out some possum magic’ (Fleer, 1997, p22). 

Individual Differences in Play – children play at their own pace, in their own way, at their own time. Not allowing them to do that means it’s not play. 

Atilla has a Play at the Brush Teeth routine. We’re in the bathroom. There’s some shampoo bottles and a brush for cleaning the shower glass with. He likes to re-arrange these. He takes them individually and puts it on the covered toilet seat. He takes them individually and places them outside the bathroom. He takes them individually and reaches high up to put it into the bathroom sink. (All while I’m brushing my teeth or flossing.) He takes them individually and puts them back in the approximate places he first found them. This Play developed over 2 weeks. He started with just putting the items outside the bathroom.

  • Fleer, M. 1997. Play interviews. Unpublished transcripts.

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