Play and Pedagogy – Developing Integrated Approaches Dr Elizabeth Wood Professor of Education University of Sheffield [email protected] Many ideas about early childhood education travel around the world. These ideas are often applied in different nations and cultural contexts. Play and active learning are valued Children should have free choice activities Practitioners provide opportunities for free and structured play Educational and developmental theories of play:Play is valuable not just for itself, but for its impact on adaptation, learning and development. Play is one of MANY ways in which children learn. Play integrates all aspects of development: social, physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual. Play leads to positive social outcomes: socialisation, peer friendships, maturity, and empathy. Play is productive activity, and can be justified within educational settings. Play can lead to defined educational outcomes (through play-based learning, and play-based curriculum). What are some of the benefits of play? Positive dispositions... confidence, competence, perseverance, playfulness, problem-solving capabilities, flexibility, resilience, meta-cognition (knowing how to learn, self-regulation, selfawareness). Well-being…sense of identity & belonging, mastery and control, positive relationships. Implications for pedagogy Children need to be around playful and knowledgeable adults who can support their learning and development in many different ways. Practitioners need to understand children’s play, and use their knowledge to inform their pedagogy and curriculum planning. BUT – what are the challenges? Integrated Pedagogical Approaches Plan indoor and outdoor spaces Assess learning and progress, review planning. Childinitiated and adultled play Team discussions of children’s play choices and learning Observe and interact with children, respond to interests Broadhead, P. and Burt, A. (2012) Understanding Young Children’s Learning Through Play: Building Playful Pedagogies. Abingdon: Routledge. Broadhead, P., Howard, J. and Wood, E. (2010) (eds) Play and Learning in the Early Years: From Research to Practice, London: Sage. Brooker, L. and Edwards, S. (eds), Engaging Play. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Saracho, O. (2012) An Integrated Play-based Curriculum for Young Children. New York: Routledge. Wood, E. (2013) Play, Learning and the Early Childhood Curriculum, 3rd edition. London, Sage.