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What We Know About Play

by Susan J. Oliver and Edgar Klugman
September/October 2002
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/what-we-know-about-play/5014716/

Have you ever taken a few moments to sit back and contemplate all the bustling activity of the children in your care? Chances are, you'll see movements and interactions and activities that seem at once both purposeful and random. You may wonder what is happening to each individual child as they play, what they are learning, how they are learning it, and why they are pursuing that activity now and in that way.

If you do, you are not alone. For generations, researchers have been intrigued by the why, how, and what of children's play. If you want new reference points the next time you have a few minutes to enjoy watching children do what children do, take a quick walk through the knowledge base on play as it now exists. Among the many that could be highlighted, you'll find a selection of resources below.

The state of the knowledge base

First, a word about existing research. Put simply, the knowledge base about play, consisting of studies that have been conducted over the past several generations, is sizable. And yet, what we still don't know looms large. Suffice it to say that there are plenty of masters' theses and doctoral dissertation ...

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