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It's Time to Stop Defending Play

by Rosemary Burton
May/June 2011
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/its-time-to-stop-defending-play/5019968/

Children learn through play. Talk to early childhood educators and they will tell you this is the core of what we know about how children learn best. Talk to many parents and they will tell you that allowing children to simply play all day is not teaching kids anything. This is the signature argument that has defined the early childhood field for as long as I can remember. I have become convinced as an early childhood educator that we will never win this argument by simply repeating over and over again that children learn through play. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe firmly that children learn through play. But I also understand the parents’ argument:

“My children play at home. That’s not why I am sending them to school. I want them to learn something. If all my children have to do is play, then why do I need to spend all this money to send them to school?”

I know as early childhood educators we have some immediate answers to the parents’ argument. But I also think that we need to listen instead of responding. What some parents perceive is:

They drop off their children at school where they go and ...

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