Tom Hobson from Woodland Park Cooperative Preschools wrote this on his amazing Teacher Tom Blog. Here’s a quote but I strongly urge you to read the entire article.
“We hardly know what education is any more. We hardly know what schools are for. It’s gotten so bad that people are taking to the streets to “save childhood” by reclaiming play for their children.
I’m sure it’s true that we could use some new research into the importance and primacy of play as the way humans learn. After all, much of the “science” of play still relies fairly heavily on the work of guys like Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget, who were in business a century ago. But do most of us really need new research to persuade us that standardized tests, where rote memorization is king, is a poor measure of educational success? I, for one, don’t need more evidence than that provided by my own eyes: children are more engaged, more creative, and more joyful when engaged in play. Speaking as a parent, it’s the joyful part that convinces me. That’s the highest wish I have for my child and I will never buy the Calvinist notion that she must first suffer before she can be saved. Play is joy. Play is where we lose ourselves. Play is why we are here.”
Tom references an amazing article from The Chronicle about the case for play! here’s some snip-its from it.
“Hirsh-Pasek, a psychology professor at Temple University, considers the move away from play to be a crisis, even comparing it to global warming, in the sense that it may take years for the consequences to be felt. When it comes to the value of play, she declares: “The science is clear”.
” If it’s true that children who spend too little time playing struggle with executive function, then we may be raising a generation of kids with less self-control, shorter attention spans, and poorer memory skills. If that really is the case, Hirsh-Pasek’s talk about a crisis isn’t so far-fetched.”