Citing the enormous creative genius of the young child, and clear evidence of it’s erosion over time, Schöning & Whitcomb’s post to the World Economic Forum indicates the educational system in its demise. Schools have become more focused on cognitive development. Social, emotional, and creative development has been left behind. Link to Article
This is worrying in that, the very skills and talents needed for the future economy are these very skills. Listed among the top ten skills necessary for jobs in 2020 are skills directly educated through play in early childhood:
Complex problem solving. As children are allowed to freely navigate their environment, they use their agency to discover. As they approach the boundaries of their knowledge, problems inevitably arise. A considerate teacher will gently guide children to consider options they might employ to solve the problem for themselves. Teachers give the children the confidence that they can and expectation that they will solve their own problems.
Coordinating with others. At or around the age of three, young children begin to interact with each other in play. As children play socially, they communicate their imaginings and plans with each other. As problems arise, they are encouraged to solve them independently and to consider the perspectives of their playmates.
Emotional intelligence. Through pretend play, children try on roles- They are mothers, policemen, animals, etc. Through trying on different roles, children begin to develop empathy and an ability to walk in the shoes of others.
The World Economic Forum elucidates what every Early Childhood teacher knows: Play is central to the education of the young child. But Schöning & Whitcomb go further they also suggest it is important for play to span a lifetime. As adults, we too should be playing. I’m game!
What do you like to play? Next week I’m attending an IB workshop, Learning Through Play. I’ll share my learning here. Subscribe to receive new posts in you inbox.