Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Play theories: Classical & Contemporary

Play theories are divided into 2 categories, namely,
1) Classical Theories: 19th & Early 20th Century.
2) Contemporary Theories: After 1920.

Classical Theories:
1) Surplus Energy: Spencer (1875) It is the result of surplus energy that exists because the young are freed from the business of self-preservation through the activities of their parents. Energy finds its release in the aimless exuberant activities of play.

Recreation/ Relaxation: (
Lazarus 1883, Patrick 1916) It is seen as a mode of dissipating the inhibitions built up from-fatigue due to tasks that are relatively new to the organism. Play replenishes energy for as yet unfamiliar cognitive activities of the child and reflects deep-rooted race habits -- phylogenetically acquired behaviors that are not therefore new to the organism.

3) Pre-exercise:
Groos - 1898) Play is essential to later survival. The playful fighting of animals or the rough and tumble play of children are essentially the practice of skills that will later aid their survival

4) Recapitulation: The word itself means "the stages an organism passes through during its embryonic development to repeat the evolutionary stages of structural change in its ancestral lineage."
It is seen not as an activity that develops future instinctual skills, but rather, that it serves to rid the organism of primitive and unnecessary instinctual skills carried over by hereditary. Each child passes through a series of play stages corresponding to and recapitulating the cultural stages in the development of the race.

Contemporary Theories:
1) Psycho-analytic: (Sigmund Freud).
-play as catharsis that allows children to rid of negative emotions & to substitute more positive ones in place.
-express feelings through play (Wehman & Abramson, 1976)
-through play, children dramatize the past, present and future (Erikson).

2) Arousal modulation- the theory where individuals assumes some optimal level of central nervous system arousal that a human being tries to maintain through play.

3) Meta-communicative:
(Erikson, 1955). Erik Erikson was of German/Danish-Jewish heritage who is known for his theory on 'psychosocial development' and for coining the phrase "identity crisis". He was born out of an illegitimate affair and hence, the development of identity was one of his main concerns.

His ideas of play is based on playing during the eight-life stage development planes,
1. hope- Basic Trust vs Mistrust.
2 will- Autonomy vs Shame & Misdoubt
3. purpose- initiative vs guilt.
4. competence- industry vs inferiority
5. fidelity- identity vs role confusion.
6. love- intimacy vs isolation.
7. caring- generativity vs stagnation.
8. wisdom- ego integrity vs despair.

Play is different during these 8 stages to enable learning to function concurrently on 2 levels
1) make belief purposes
2) authencity of life, roles, actions, purposes.

Cognitive theories of play:

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was known for his work on studying children (particularly his own three children), and particularly to his contribution to that of "cognitive/intellectual development" and "constructivist theory of knowing". He was a biologist & also a professor of psychology for over 45 years at the University of Geneva.

His theories on play is based on his four stages of development namely,
1) Sensorimotor stage.
- Through play, children learn the actions of movement and the senses and of object permanence (using their senses of touch, taste, hearing, seeing and smell).
2) Pre-operational stage:
- Through play, children acquire motor skills.
3) Concrete operational stage:
- Through concrete activities (hands-on activities and things that can be seen) and games with simple rules, children begin to learn to think logically.
4) Formal operational stage:
- Through rules and instructions, children begin to learn to think abstractly and independently.

Lev Vygotsky: ( 1896-1934) was a Soviet developmental psychologist. His works included an emphasis on interpersonal relationships & on higher mental functions through interactions with significant people in an individual's life.
- play supports development of children's cognitive powers.
- focused more on normal tensions experienced by child rather than on extreme or abnormal ones.
- make belief helps them to interpret the object they are representing in their dramatic play.
- through play, children learn cultural mediation & to internalize knowledge of their specific cultural groups & function as a member of their society.


Irene aka Sweet Surrender said...

Hi Chea-Yee,

So glad I stumbled on this site of yours. Found out that you did your studies in Queensland before, mind to share which course did you take? Did you take it at USQ? How do you find the place? Is it good? Any tips to share for studying there?

Initially I thought of taking of Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education from USQ but they offer me a place in Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning(Primary level) instead due to my first degree. Currently I'm doing my Diploma in Early Childhood at SEGi.

I'm going to USQ next year for my graduate diploma.

You have any idea of the early childhood market or trend there? I'm thinking of staying back there if possible and venture into this field or any field that is related as I have a degree in computing.

Any advise that might be useful for me? I've been trying to find someone to give me some ideas on what is there to offer in Australia for this field.

Hope to hear from you soon.


CheaYee said...

Halo.. sorry for late reply...

If USQ is offerinng you a place for Graduate Diploma, I am wondering how many exemptions are you getting for that?

Since you are doing the E.Childhood Diploma, there should be a number of exemptions isn't it?

If you get the Graduate Diploma (as in if you pass), then you can be officially registered as a teacher for zero- eight years (primary school). The pay rates are very much different.

Once you get the teacher registration, and with your degree in computing (and years of exprience), you may be able to

1) teach high school (computing)
2) or casually at TAFE- depending on what they want.

The most important thing is getting the teacher registration number, and passing your practs.

Just remember to take into consideration the cultural differences.

Perhaps you may have less trouble, but for me it, the cultural difference made practicums much more difficult, and it takes a while to get used to the way things are done here.

Unknown said...

Hello! I would like to use the information on this blog in a paper I am writing. Could you give me your full name and references for this blog? Thanks!

weston said...

absolutely helpful, i have a paper to present on justification of the need to play by children with reference to theories of play.can you assist me please?

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