Play From Birth to Eight Years

frizzflowerUrban and Civil

Nov 29, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Play From Birth to Eight Years

Play and Development

Keith Sawyer

Timescales


Ontogenesis: Development of the
organism


Microgenesis: Development over the
course of one play episode or class


(Phylogenesis: Development of the
species)

Stages of Play Development: 1


Functional play (motor exercise, with or
without objects)


Constructive play: Using materials
creatively in combination (includes solitary
make
-
believe)


Dramatic play: Role playing and make
-
believe

Stages of Play Development: 2


Physical and motor play (running and
chasing; rough
-
and
-
tumble play)


Object play (object manipulation and
exploration, constructive play)


Symbolic play (pretend actions with
objects; role enactment)


Social play


Games with rules

Stages of Play Development: 3

Parten’s classic 1932 study:


Solitary play


Parallel play (alongside but not with)


Associative play (playing and sharing
together)


Cooperative play (different complementary
roles; shared purpose)

Piaget


What concepts do you
associate with Piaget?


A radical claim
: Piaget
didn’t really care about
children


Piaget cared about basic
philosophical questions


The study of developing
children allows an
empirical evaluation of
philosophical questions

The Philosophical Context


Where does knowledge come from?


Behaviorists are
empiricists

all knowledge
derives from experience


The
rationalists

reject empiricism and argue that
some knowledge is innate or
a priori
: it does not
require experience


Kant’s synthesis proposed
a priori
basic
categories


Piaget proposed that these basic categories are
not innate but are learned, but not in the way
that behaviorists believed

Key Influences: Biology


Piaget’s degrees were in biology


The influence of Darwin: development
proceeds in stages


Piaget’s central question: How did human
cognition evolve from lower animals?

Key Influences:


James Mark Baldwin (1861
-
1934)

Many of Piaget’s terms are taken from
Baldwin:



Evolutionary (or genetic) epistemology



Circular reaction, imitation



Assimilation, accommodation



Development proceeds in stages



Focus on process, rather than structure

Key Influences: Freud


Development proceeds in stages


Each stage involves a shift from an object
to a generalized symbol (concrete to
abstract)


Each stage has an inherent tension that
propels movement to the next stage


Equilibrium results from the tension
between assimilation and accommodation

Key Influences:

The Theory of Symbols


Freud’s psychoanalytic theory
of symbols


De Saussure’s theory of
linguistic symbols


Representation: the
signifier
and the
signified


The index: the signifier is a
part of the signified


The symbol: motivated,
relationship of resemblance


The sign: arbitrary,
conventional relationship


(see pp. 98
-
102 of Piaget)

Key Influences: Gestaltists

Emergence

Reification

Multistability

Invariance

Gestaltists


Gestaltists rejected the reductionism of
both behaviorism and introspectionism


Instead, Gestaltists were holists about
perception and thought


Piaget’s critique: There is no explanation
for how Gestalts come to exist in the mind


Piaget’s elaboration: The
schema

is


“A gestalt with a history”

The Schema


The schema: an “elementary
psychological structure”


Each stage has its own schemas


Children’s learning is mediated by their
mental schemas


New schemas
emerge

from the child
interaction of the old schema and the
environment: a
dialectic

Assimilation and Accommodation


Development is driven by a continuing
equilibrium between
assimilation

and
accommodation


Assimilation: The child imposes an
existing schema on the world (play)


Accommodation: The modifies the schema
to fit the world (imitation)

Play as Assimilation and
Accommodation


The child at pretend often imposes a
schema on the world (assimilation)


Children at play also imitate something
they’ve observed or repeat a past activity
(accommodation)


Play contributes to development because
of this tension between assimilation and
accommodation

Stage Transitions


Are abrupt and discontinuous, because a
new schema emerges whole and all at
once


Sensorimotor play

Symbolic play


The schema for the symbol emerges from
the child’s application of sensorimotor
schemas to the world

Schemas


A schema “always includes both
assimilation and accommodation” (p. 103)


…but in different ratios, resulting in:
adaptive, imitative, or ludic schemas


Intelligence is the equilibrium between
assimilation and accommodation

Piaget’s Major Stages


Sensorimotor (six substages)


Preoperational (or symbolic)


Concrete operations


Formal operations


The General Pattern is Concrete

Abstract

Critiques of Piaget


The stage descriptions tend to
underestimate children’s competence


Stage transitions may not be
qualitative

but rather more
quantitative

or continuous


Yet, Piaget’s theory remains influential


Neo
-
Piagetians

are extending Piaget

Implications for Education


“Constructivism”


The child does not “internalize” knowledge


Rather, the child
constructs

knowledge
through active interaction with the
environment

“In our view a static analysis of
discontinuous, stratified levels is
unacceptable, whereas the functional
dynamism of assimilation and
accommodation, while respecting
structural variety, makes it possible to
trace the evolution towards equilibrium
and thus to grasp the specific role of
mental life.”


Play, dreams, and imitation
, p. 291

Vygotsky and Piaget


Many similarities, but


Some important differences.


Born in the same year (1896) and both began
working in the 1920s

Psychological Holism


Vygotsky rejected the
reductionism of
behaviorists and
introspectionists


Attracted to the holism of
the Gestaltists


Like Piaget, criticized
Gestaltists for having no
explanation for where
Gestalts come from

Constructivism


Like Piaget, Vygotsky
was a constructivist


Like Piaget, focused on
how abstract thought
developed from concrete
thought (a question of
genetic epistemology)


Like Piaget, play with
objects (“pivots”) leads to
abstract symbolic thought

Sociological Holism


The social group is the primary
reality


Rather than analyze groups in
terms of individuals, the scientist
should analyze individuals in
terms of groups


Children’s mental structures are
determined by the society they
are raised in


Social interaction is
internalized

and becomes thought


Thus, every society might have
people with different
psychologies, and different
developmental paths

Social Constructivism


The child constructs his
or her own knowledge
through interaction with
social groups


Society and social
interaction are the source
of mental structures
(gestalts/schemas)


Social interaction is
“internalized” and
becomes thought

The Zone of Proximal Development


Social interaction comes before thought,
and is then internalized by the developing
child to become thought


Thus, the child in social interaction will
always “think” at a more advanced level


ZPD =

(level of assisted performance)


-

(level of solitary performance)

Applications of Vygotsky


Studies of how parents
scaffold

or
structure learning experiences for children
(Bruner)


Studies of how teachers can create the
most effective “scaffolded” learning
environment in the classroom

Scaffolded Instruction


Teacher and student
interaction in a
collaborative context


The collaboration
occurs within the
student’s ZPD


The teacher gradually
withdraws support as
the student develops
competence

Summary


Both Piaget and Vygotsky are
constructivists


Vygotsky is a social constructivist, a
developmental version of sociological
holism


This led to Vygotsky’s theory of the ZPD,


and to current theories of “scaffolded
learning”

Social/Cognitive Play Scale

Functional

Constructive

Dramatic

Games With
Rules

Solitary

Parallel

Group

Unoccupied/Onlooking

Activities

Nonplay