The Impact of Play on the Affective Development of Primary School Children

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In recent years there has been a shift in educational theory as more research is done about the positive effects play has on learning and development. One age group specifically that is helped by the use of play in their curriculum is primary school age children. This paper seeks to investigate the impact of fantasy and dramatic play on the development of identity in children ages 5-8. Erik “Erikson built his theory based on Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual development and his own work with children and families. For Erikson, the social aspects that influence human development are more significant in shaping the identity of human personality” (Batra 2013). Erikson’s theories on play describe how it helps children develop their identities by focusing on the social and emotional skills that playing enables. Playing affects children’s self-concept and how they relate to people and the world around them and who they want to develop into. According to Curtis, Erikson referred to the ages of 4-6 as being the play age for children. Play is a necessary “form of self-expression and …is an important vehicle for expressing feelings” (Curtis & & O’Hagan 2003). Play enables a child to achieve control and gain confidence in him or herself. It is a chance for children to develop a cognizance about space, themselves and others (Curtis & O’Hagan 2003). Fantasy play is crucial to this process as it gives the opportunity to role play through various life experiences, both real and imaginary. “Erikson stressed the importance of the life- rehearsal element in fantasy play, suggesting that it helps children come to terms with social issues such as loneliness, failure and disappointment” (Curtis & O’Hagan 2003). These problems exist in everyday li... ... middle of paper ... ...). The importance of play in adulthood. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child.53. 51-64 Batra, S. (Jul2013). The Psychosocial Development of Children: Implications for Education and Society — Erik Erikson in Context. Contemporary Education Dialogue, 10 (2).249-278 Charlesworth, R. (2014). Understanding Child Development (9th ed.). Cengage Learning Curtis, A. & O’Hagan, M. (2003). Care and Education in Early Childhood: A Student's Guide to Theory and Practice. London: RoutledgeFalmer. Erikson, E.H. (1963). Childhood and society. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company. Gershon, M. (Jun2013). Why Play Should be Part of Every Lesson. Times Educational Supplement.1(5047).38-39. Lillard, A., Lerner, M., Hopkins, E., Dore, R., Smith, E., Palmquist, C. (Jan2013).The Impact of Pretend Play on Children's Development: A Review of the Evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 139 (1), p1-34
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