A Play-Based Curriculum by Van Hoorn Essay

A Play-Based Curriculum by Van Hoorn Essay

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The word “play” has numerous meanings to different people in different contexts. Therefore it cannot have one definition and is described in a number of ways. Smith (2010) describes play as involvement in an activity, purely for amusement and to take part for fun. That play is “done for it’s own sake, for fun, not for any external purpose.” (Smith, 2010. P4) Therefore, as one precise definition cannot be presented for the word ‘play,’ it is described in a number of ways such as social dramatic play. Briggs and Hanson (2012) portray social dramatic play as the building blocks of a child’s ability to accept the possibility to step into another world, building and developing on children’s higher order thinking, accentuating the child as a social learner. Another example of play is exploratory play, which is described as children being placed in an explorer or investigator role, to identify the cause or affect a resources that is presented to them has. (Briggs, M and Hanson, A. 2012) Games are also another example of play. They are included on the basis that playing games with rules, regardless of age, can develop a child’s intellectual capabilities along with their physical, behavioural and emotional health. (Briggs, M and Hanson, A. 2012).

A play-based curriculum is described by Van Hoorn as a curriculum “that uses the power of play to foster children’s development… in which teachers take an active role in balancing spontaneous play, guided play and teacher-directed activities. ” (Van Hoorn, J, 2011 p3) Based on the definitions of play provided, offering play at the centre of the curriculum is important because it is built upon by the strengths of a child, rather than their weaknesses, creating the building blocks to encourage the...


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...and with whom they belong, while being reflects the importance of the present in a child’s life and becoming acknowledges the change experienced in a child’s early years, as children are shaped by their experiences to learn and grow. (Australian Government Department of Education, 2009)



Works Cited

Smith, P (2010) Children and Play: Understanding children’s worlds. Chicestor: Wiley Blackwell.

Briggs, M and Hansen, A (2012) Play-based learning in the primary school. Sage, Los Angeles.

Van Hoorn, J, Monighan Nourot, P, Scales, B & Rodriguez Alward, K 2011, Play at the Center of the Curriculum, 5th edn, Pearson, New Jersey.

Preschool Learning Alliance, 2013, Learning Through Play, Last accessed 7 April 2014, .

Carle, E, 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Penguin Putnam, New York.

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