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Practitioner roles in promoting learning through play

This essay will identify how adults can support learning through play and will analyse the worthiness of this methodology. It will consider historical and current perspectives of child development. The key areas of discourse will be learning through role play and assisting children with additional needs. It will recognise the value of symbolic play, contingent response and the utilization of sustained shared thinking. Historically children were identified in different ways, from 'evil and wicked' to 'innocent and easily corrupted'. Child years has been constructed and reconstructed. (James & Prout 1997:7) The behaviourist procedure, views the kid as a 'bare slate' conditioned through external factors and places an focus on detail by detail learning. Psychologists such as Watson and Skinner considered children to learn by encounters given by parents to 'design' or 'mould' them. Experts need to make clear the restrictions for behavior to children to allow them to encourage do it yourself control and enable them to think about their behaviour. Offering 'time out' has been seen to discourage this. (Bruce 2005:47)

The Nativist approach thinks that children are 'pre programmed' and can 'unfold' in their development. (Bruce 2005:3) This process considers the adult role as a facilitator offering help but not handling learning. Rousseau's way can be seen in the current view of adults observing and monitoring the first learning goals. He suggested that play was 'instinctive'.

The interactionist way views children as partly pre programmed and partly bare slates. Kant originated this process, and believed the individuals' role in promoting learning was to provide a suitable learning environment to explore. He also declares that adults should supervise and assist when required. This view is seen through the curriculum today that provides both adult led and child led activities. The importance of connections between children and parents, through sustained shared thinking, is outlined in assignments like EPPE (2003) as mentioned in child and childhoods.

The different strategies discussed can be seen to have had an impact used throughout today's education, it is important that experts have a good understanding of these approaches in order to understand how best to support learning.

Historically all children play unless there are factors that prevent them from doing so, such as children's health or living conditions. Through the 18th Century children were sent to work, so could have had little time to play, however, this does not mean they did not. Play in the 1920's was a form of relaxation which was considered to be practice for life. (Bruce 2005). Newer thinking understands play as problem dealing with and creativeness.

Play underpins the delivery of the statutory platform for the Early Years Foundation Stage, which aspires to help children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of being safe, being healthy, enjoying and reaching, making a confident contribution and attaining economic well being. (Dfes 2007:7) It suggests the role of the specialist is one of observing and using the info gained to arrange for children's next steps in learning. Children desire a challenging and interesting environment with a balance of mature led and child initiated activities, to be able to problem solve and investigate through their play. It's the practitioners' role to create and keep maintaining this environment so that children develop their communication and creative skills. Children's accomplishments are collected over time and learning diaries are produced, unlike the EYFS information (2003) these diaries haven't any emphasis put on testing children.

Montessori's approach values the child, the surroundings and the teacher. She thought children were spontaneous learners needing adult support during intervals of development. She explained the individuals' role was

"to ensure that the surroundings offers the developmental needs of each specific child; observation serves as the main element tool for building these developmental needs" (Isaacs 2007:13)

She believed in 'scaffolding' children's learning. In her view the role of the adult was to consider health and safety in the provision and provide defined areas for learning experiences and problem solving activities. She considered the kid could lose their liberty if men and women were too communicative with them. She stated that practitioners had a need to have a reasonable understanding of child development and an potential to understand the necessity for real life experience. Although her approach provides time for children to explore with little adult involvement she considered play to be unneeded, believing gadgets were tools to enable learning. Her procedure however, contrasts with the views of the EYFS, which states the importance of learning through play and the significance of social connections between people and children.

Bruner shows that good professionals tune in to the 'incipient intent of the child and act appropriately'. (Bruce 2001:53) suggesting the child's expanding plan or purpose should be viewed and then backed and encouraged. He prices play and considers that when children play with other children this emphasises the importance of social and emotional physical condition and interactions. He stresses the value of flip taking and social rules. He states that in a job play situation children are able to use problem dealing with and upsurge in words acquisition. He experimented using two groupings; one being shown, the other learning and concluded that the group permitted to play outperformed the taught group as these were in a position to explore and problem solve. He views the adult role as 'scaffolding' the child through their development by starting where the child is and promoting them to go on.

A newer view by Moyles (2001) considers there are psychological, physical and intellectual worth in supporting learning through play. She details four guidelines of play, as being functional, constructive, rule governed and socio-dramatic. In a recently available study she discovered that effective practitioners are able to use their knowledge to support children's learning by building on what children can do and by evaluating the procedure of observations and planning for next steps. She suggests that children should be supported in their play and experts should value the suggestions by parents.

It is important to be clear that play is not in place of planning, or indeed a simple option. 'Teachers Tv set' discusses how experts should advise parents about the value of play and how children's learning can be supported. Experts need to communicate with children in ways they understand, if children feel secure and laid back they'll become productive learners who develop self-reliance. Adult support in Early Years education is important for the reason that it could be the very first time a kid has played out alongside others, Key people offer support to children and their families during their time at pre universities and work in relationship to inform planning and prolong a child's passions and learning.

The 1967 Plowden report considers the average person child and building on what they already know and understand. It says practitioners should have a flexible approach to the curriculum and monitor the environment. It suggests that play is central to children's growth and development. The report is critical of testing and figures, proclaiming "not expect that only what's measurable is valuable". However, in 1976 the curriculum was designed by political forces which discarded the 'child centred' judgment of the Plowden statement. The Thatcher years produced good test outcomes in academic institutions and with it the added pressures from OFSTED to work with league tables and focus on results. New labour continuing with this by presenting the literacy and numeracy hour. It had been not until twenty years later that 'child centred' education was highlighted again.

The Rumbold report (Des 1990) claims play as being an important part in children's learning, and state governments that practitioners need to be sensitive and know when to intervene and become involved in children's play. It says that children should get period to play. Professionals should watch children and use these observations to inform planning for examination and prolong learning. (Macleod-Brudenell 2004:227) In order to achieve this, the adult must plan the environment so children can explore, practice ideas, interact, take risks, think imaginatively, express anxieties or doubts and communicate with others. Steiner considers the whole child, and believes that an essential aspect in children's development is the cultural relationships children have with others. Through play he feels children can develop their emotions and ideas and make good connections with others. He thinks the adult should be supportive and not to work with play as a tool to obtain a pre determined result as it will deprive children of independence to choose wide open ended creative play. He claims the parents' role is to teach by example not instruction.

Froebel considered the natural, religious, mental and intellectual aspects of child development and states the important factor is to 'start out where in fact the learner is' (Bruce 2005 :26) He presumed that through play the adult can watch what is had a need to support and extend learning. However, Froebel's work could be criticised because he limited his research to boys. He states that play is central to pedagogy. Froebel made a distinction between play and work and considers

"play is exactly what children are involved in when they start the duty and work is what they are doing when they fulfil an activity required by an adult" (Bruce 2005:19)

Which shows that whenever a child is asked to do complete something by an adult, it means the child loses ownership of their original idea.

Role play can happen anywhere and it is unrestrictive and impulsive. It is important for children to be able to imitate and explore the world around them. Children can be imaginative and creative in their play and get away from into fantasy worlds. Children interact with each other and often play above their real age, as advised by Vygotsky. (MacLeod-Brudenell 2004:213) Practitioners should offer props to market role play and through observing and supporting will have an understanding of when to become involved in their play. Inclusive practice entails professionals offering ideas and asking open concluded questions to increase children's learning, communication and dialect skills. Research shows that suffered shared thinking is important in extending children's learning and by practitioners having a special collaboration with children in their adjustments. (EYFS 4. 3) Therefore in order for the kids to learn through role play parents need to respect and value the children's play and consider the child's ideas and interests. As Inclusion is paramount to practice practitioners should be aware of discriminatory play and intervene sensitively if encountered. Sustained shared thinking is the procedure of working mutually to build up ideas and permit children to make cable connections in their learning. Through the use of sustained shared pondering in play the adult can support the child's way of thinking. Through an knowing of the child's interests the practitioner will offer encouragement and ask open finished questions to aid and extend learning.

Piaget, a constructivist, considered how children played out for satisfaction, and presumed children 'assimilate' or integrate new knowledge with what they already know. This absorbing of encounters is described as 'schema', where patterns of repeated behaviour help the kid learn. He presumed children needed to work through phases to learn, where they could test and explore. He advised older children no more need play as have developed abstract thinking. This view can be seen in the current education associated with key periods, where more emphasis has been given to play in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Country wide curriculum and EYFS mirror the Governments strategies to permit all children to access a relevant and healthy curriculum. (Moyles 2007:4) Since 1995 the law states children have to be assessed at get older 7 and aged 11 and throughout the first Years professionals complete assessment data based on the first learning goals.

Learning concerns criticises Piaget's methodology by stating he may have lacked knowledge of the cultural impact, as children who are from different cultures, gender, race or sociable classes might need help learn.

Recent research into perspectives found in Early Years education shows that there is a significant lack of information concerning learning by having a child's viewpoint. Lindon, (2001) areas practitioners should value the thoughts of children and become more receptive with their views.

More recent thinking by Chris Athey (1990) a constructivist, considers that schemas help children think for themselves and can be used to support and increase learning through play. She areas practitioners should work together with parents in showing activities and children's passions. She believes children are productive learners.

http://www. nurseryworld. co. uk/news/719740/Train-thought (15/1/10)

Vygotsky's 'zone of proximal development' considered that in play children react beyond how old they are. He presumed children find out more from child initiated play as he believed children place their own levels in charge of learning (Bruce 2005: 64). He known the necessity for a host that had clear boundaries for children, with parents who reply effectively and help children to believe for themselves. He suggests play to really have the skills children need to reach their potential. He thinks children acquire terminology and learn through role play and through cultural and cultural interactions, stating the role of the adult is through assistance.

Learning matters is crucial of Vygotsky 's views of 'areas' as they consider those to be hazy in their definitions. It is grasped that the areas describe the individuals' role in promoting and increasing what the kid can do.

Research shows that children develop through adult's interacting with them. Individuals can support learning through 'contingent response' where people behave sensitively to children's behavior. Children are seen to benefit from the social and mental contacts with people. Practitioners should positively respond to children's positive behavior and play presenting praise and endorsement. Through the use of books, advertising and use appropriate terms and communication experts support play and lengthen learning.

It has been suggested by Postman that Child years is disappearing, children have less liberty and less places to play. Tv set and computer technology has advanced and children are inspired by their parents in which to stay because of parental fear for his or her children's safe practices. However, the Government's 'play strategy' intends to improve and develop play facilities throughout the united states.

Practitioners should observe and use their knowledge to plan and offer for all individual children. Children who've any extra need which may include disability or a disorder that affects their learning or development may need extra help within the provision. The Children's Action of 1989 discusses that practitioners need to identify 'in need' children, support their development and allow all children to take part in all areas within the provision. (Bruce 2005:40). The Function state governments that, children 'in need' be categorised regarding with their specific needs. Early on years Action is based on existing knowledge within the provision. If exterior support is needed the child is known as to be Early Years Action Plus. Therefore, practitioners have to be in a position to identify and support children. Individual play plans are of help in considering expected learning targets and desired results over a short period. Through play, practitioners can identify a child's pursuits, adapt the surroundings and adjust activities to aid the kid. With support from parents the child's development can be monitored and reviewed. It is important to keep an eye on and measure the curriculum linking this with children's individual progress. Experts support children by formative diagnosis, whereby they acquire information about individual children over a period of time, and summative evaluation where they bring everything learnt about each young one and decide on their next steps in learning. It's important that practitioners working with other professionals talk and reveal information regarding children with additional needs.

Children with Autism need more mature support in just a provision to permit these to learn through play. The specialist may use 'symbolic' play to help the kid develop skills needed to stretch learning, as children with autism do not have a tendency to use pretend play they use efficient or repeated play. The men and women' role is very important in helping the child to focus and become motivated. The practitioner can teach cultural skills by concerning other children in play. It's important that practitioners offer resources that promote symbolic play throughout the provision. Play therapists use symbolic play to help children manage anxieties or problems, because they are able to communicate feelings. Research data demonstrates children's degree of involvement in an activity is an indicator of their current levels of learning and development. (Moyles 2006) However, it's important that information is collected by multiple experts before any judgements are created.

The reflective practitioner considered how an over stimulating environment as explained by Elizabeth Jarman comes with an adverse effect on children's learning. Therefore practitioners need to provide an environment that is obtainable for all those children and is interesting and enjoyable. Through quality improvement the provision is watched and examined to see if the Every Child Things outcomes are covered in planning.

Practitioners who regularly think about practice and keep up at this point with research can make improvements to how observations and planning is performed and therefore prolong children's learning and development through play. Recent studies have shown how observations are useful in interpreting behaviours and understanding interests. (Maynard 2009:207) It considered what children like to explore and time put in at activities, as well as the social interactions and accessories made. Although goal setting up and literacy and numeracy strategies have designed there are more pressures put on teaching staff and children, it's been investigated that less emphasis should be put on measurable results, tick graphs and making children complete activities to get results. Experts now view and use these observations to see individual likely to prolong a child's learning through play. Top quality teaching occurs when there is a good knowledge of how to observe play, knowing when to intervene and the way to interact to extend learning. Through quality improvement the provision is monitored to make sure the Every Child Things Outcomes are covered in planning.

In bottom line play and the people' role in promoting learning through play has extremely important benefits for children's contentment, physical, cognitive and interpersonal development. Childcare configurations should be welcoming, have sufficient resources, practitioners should be good role models and invite children time for continuous play. (Bruce 2001) Research shows that interrupting children's play influences cooperation and public connections. (Broadhead 2004:3)

Play can happen anywhere and it is unrestrictive and impulsive. Children concentrate for very long periods in their play, if given time to take action. Through play children can relax and let their imaginations create anything they choose.

It is known children are productive learners, who learn best when allowed to become deeply involved in their chosen activities. To become independent learners' practitioners should let children investigate and problem solve for themselves. (Whitebread 2003:17) With highly experienced and experienced practitioners guiding and aiding them they can experiment and develop skills needed to help them go forward in their learning. Experts should be good role models as suggested by Owen, who nurture children and provide a stimulating environment which is free stream. Trained practitioners are aware of the average person needs of the children in their care and understand the value of play structured learning. It is therefore, the role of the specialist to plan, support, intervene when necessary and increase children's learning. (Macleod-Brudenell 2004:50)

Practitioners who regularly monitor the provision reveal upon ideas and choose which seem to be 'fit for goal' as they extend learning as 'learning concerns' describes, experts should consider

"sometimes directing out new horizons, sometimes setting up difficult, sometimes delicately guiding and sometimes leaving well alone"

Therefore, the specialist has multiple jobs in aiding learning through play. They are simply referred to as being 'facilitators' enabling learning to happen. They 'scaffold' and support learning and development. They provide an stimulating environment for learning to occur and have the ability to modify responsively to the needs of individual children. However, they should have regard for maintaining an equilibrium of adult and child led activities. It is important for practitioners to comprehend how children learn and the significance of theoretical solutions. They should also realise the importance of emphasising play.

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