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Learning Through Play Essay

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The importance of incorporating a play based curriculum

Play is something every child looks forward to. It is where they will learn valuable skills to aid in the growth of their development. Play can be in many forms for example, purposeful play and child-initiated play. Child initiated play is self explanatory whereas purposeful play is devised and structured by the teachers or parents and it comes with objectives. Children are curious learners and would love to explore and make sense of the things around them. Hence, learning through play and exploration helps them to construct their own knowledge. Other than developing their cognitive skills, learning through play is important as it gives them experiences on how to deal with social and
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Most of the research articles agreed that it helps to promote creativity and self confidence (Hirsh-Pasek, 1991; MCYS Learning 2010). The skills that they learn through play is something they will need to face future challenges. With play-based learning, children are able to learn at their own pace and hone their decision making skills. They are able to be fully engage in the activities that they wish to do. Whereas when the learning is teacher directed, children are told what to do and are suppose to follow specific instructions. There is very little room for creativity and exploration which is needed for a child to make sense when he is learning about a new concept. The benefits of teacher directed curriculum is that the content of information in the lesson is planned out, therefore children are expected to memorise the concept or facts. Teachers most often to this by giving the children plenty of worksheets or flashcards and constant drilling is done. Such structure is aimed to prepare children for their future in primary…show more content…
It is not easy to pin point whether a child has understood a certain concept that was taught as chances are he/she either memorise the answers or copied from what is given by peers or teachers. There is little room for creative thinking or constructing their own understanding. In a kindergarten classroom, there has to be a balance of both types of curriculum. As teachers, we cannot expect children to be avid learners by voiding them of play. Play is where they can be exposed to rich, experiential learning which has a lifelong benefit compared to formal instructionalized teaching and standardized worksheets. When children are at play, they will have an opportunity at using and developing their problem solving skills by being creative with their solutions. This also helps them perform better in school tasks (Danksy, 1980). Some studies have shown that drilling on academics does not necessarily mean children develop cognitive skills ahead of time.
Kindergarten classrooms that follows either curriculum approaches as a whole can be counterproductive in developing skills. If its teacher-directed, the classroom becomes too structured. On the contrary, if its less structured coupled with ample play it can result in
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