Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Early Childhood Education Programs: Play — Whole Child Education

Early Childhood Education Programs: Play — Whole Child Education:

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Early Childhood Education Programs: Play

Thomas Armstrong, education expert, author, and Whole Child Podcast guest, just can't say enough about the importance of play. The chapter "Early Childhood Education Programs: Play" is excerpted from Armstrong's ASCD book Best Schools, which looks at not just best schools, but also best practices for teaching and learning. In this chapter, Armstrong points to early education practices that actually hinder young learners rather than helping them to get ahead.
Cutting out play is one such practice that thwarts child development, says Armstrong. A young child, particularly, needs to be in a safe environment where he can touch, sense, and move in order to learn.
"The incredible plasticity of the child's brain points to the importance of the child's surroundings—a safe and caring social and emotional space coupled with a hands-on interactive environment—in promoting healthy neurological growth. The high metabolic activity in a young child's brain suggests that the child should be exposed to dynamic, creative, and multisensory experiences. Children's play represents the single best way