The Play’s the Thing — Teachers' Roles in Children's Play
Please join us at this very valuable and worthwhile upcoming CAYC event in Regina, Saskatchewan. Under the guidance of Gretchen Reynolds, you will have the opportunity to refresh your thoughts about the importance of play and come away with exciting ways to enhance or implement a play based program in your early years environment.
We hope to see many of you at this wonderful conference.
Does play have a place in school? Teachers are asked to routinely assess and record children’s learning using developmental profiles recommended in the provinces. With the focus on children’s school success, time for child-initiated play in many early learning classrooms has been replaced by teacher-guided academics. Children learn through play. Early academics do not promote learning; they encourage passivity. Young children learn by constructing knowledge through explorations and play with materials, actions, and ideas, and in relationships with others.
Skilled teachers nurture children’s competence as players. As active as children are, a teacher-as-artist promotes complex, meaningful play. She or he intentionally practices a teaching role that best suits the learning child: stage manager, mediator, player, scribe, assessor and communicator, and planner.
Children play to learn...and learn to play. Young children represent their experiences and ideas through play, engaging in the human tradition of symbol-making in order to know. Mastering play is the first big step in masteringoral and written language.
Questions we will explore include:
- How do teachers interrupt play?
- What are teachers’ uses (and abuses) of power?
- Can a teacher play beside children?
- Can we learn to see the learning in play?
Note: Participants will need a photo or a story of a child at play. Use a mobile device if you wish.
Please see attached PDFs for further details and registration information.
Meet the Author/Presenter
Gretchen Reynolds and Elizabeth Jones partnered to write The Play’s the Thing: Teachers’ Roles in Children’s Play (2011) and Master Players: Learning from Children at Play (1997), published by Teachers College Press. Gretchen taught primary education, co-op preschool, and kindergarten, and since 1992 has been a member offaculty in the ECE Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Working with CIDA, Gretchen travelled to Cairo to train Egyptian kindergarten teachers in play-based learning techniques. She participated in study tours of the Reggio Emilia schools with an interest in children’s experiences in the arts and in play as tools for meaning-making. Gretchen received a Ph.D. in Education from The Claremont Graduate University (California) and a Master’s degree from Bank Street College (New York).