Thursday, December 22, 2005

Play theories: Froebel & Montessori.

This text from Saracho & Spodek, (1995) Children's Play & Early Childhood Education: Insights from History and Theory, Journal of Education:

How play is used in programs today....often relates to how play has been conceived at various times in the past. Understanding how play has been interpreted throughout history can help teachers to better understand the nature of play & how to use it in early childhood programs.(Saracho & Spodek, 1995)

Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) was from German heritage and loved nature. He developed the word "kindergarten", and designed what is called the "Froebel gifts" (geometric blocks, pattern blocks, etc). Froebel's contribution to the education world was his ideas in recognising that children had unique needs and capabilities, and importance of the activities in the children's learning.

Through play, the individual learns that there is
1) unity in the universe
2) opposites can be resolved
3) materials can be combined to create diff. things.

Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952)- is Italy's first trained female General Physician (GP). She had an interest in the needs of the mentally & disabled children. It was probably with the birth of her illegitimate son that sparked the interest to how she would pour her life & energies into studying the needs of children.

Montessori is particularly interested in how play developed the mind, body, brain & senses in terms of
1) gaining greater awareness of properties through use of the bodily senses.
2) sharpening abilities to gather & organise information.
3) organise sensory impression (through use of Practical Life & Sensorial activities).

Progressive Era:
play as one of the vehicles for learning.

John Dewey
: (1859-1952) is American & the father of "functional psychology".

His theories provided the basis for contemporary educational uses of children's play.
1) play to help children reconstruct their experience & gain meaning from it.
2) children learn to function at higher levels of consciousness and action (1900).
3) teachers were to create an environment to nurture play that would support desirable mental & moral growth (1916).

1 comment:

Mark said...

Wow, Froebel's teachings sure sounds deep for children.

Unity in the universe!


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