Saturday, January 8, 2011
Play Is the Way
Have you seen the article "Want to Get Your Kids into College? Let Them Play" on CNN.com? It's been making the rounds among blogs and Twitter. In that article, the authors equated skills needed for success in college with skills gained from play in the preschool years.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from that article:
"One of the best predictors of school success is the ability to control impulses. Children who can control their impulse to be the center of the universe, and -- relatedly -- who can assume the perspective of another person, are better equipped to learn."
"Through play, children learn to take turns, delay gratification, negotiate conflicts, solve problems, share goals, acquire flexibility, and live with disappointment. By allowing children to imagine walking in another person's shoes, imaginative play also seeds the development of empathy, a key ingredient for intellectual and social-emotional success."
"For a five year-old, this connection begins and ends with the creating, questioning, imitating, dreaming, and sharing that characterize play. When we deny young children play, we are denying them the right to understand the world."
I often tell other teachers that play is the child's job, his work. It's how he discovers how the world works. It's how he learns to interact with others. It's the best way to understanding.
I am so glad I can encourage and participate in children's play. And now I can tell others that I teach "college preparatory" classes!