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Re: [xmca] Play and more..

Artin and all,

Thanks for notice of your paper on unstructured play and learning. I'll be interested to learn what features seem critical to you in defining "unstructured". The phrase almost seems self-contradictory, in that play must be at least self-organizing, must come to have a meaningful form for the participants, in each moment, with some relation (maybe short-range in time) to other moments.

So I suppose the issue is self-organizing and spontaneous vs. externally controlled or fixed-by-rules? Clearly I would expect that when play is more open-ended that there is more ample opportunity to learn how to engage in open-ended activity! and that is a kind of self- regulation, if we can so use the term, that seems very different from learning to play a role in someone else's game. Both are useful social skills, but the first would seem to me to be the one where the creative and critical potential is stronger.

Did you find that there were particular kinds of learning that were better supported by spontaneous/unstructured play?


Jay Lemke
Professor (Adjunct)
Educational Studies
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

On Sep 29, 2009, at 7:21 AM, Goncu, Artin wrote:

Hello All,

I am writing in response to the recent post about the use of structured dramatic play in early childhood education. We recently wrote a paper in which we argued and illustrated with some examples that spontaneous and
unstructured play can be used as an effective educational activity as
well. The paper is now in press. (The reference is below). However, I am willing to send a prepublication copy as an e-mail attachment. If you
are interested, please send me a note off the net.

Göncü, A. Abel, B. & Boshans, M. (in press). The role of attachment and play in young children’s learning and development. In K. Littleton, C.
Wood, & J. K. Staarman (Eds.) Handbook of Educational Psychology: New
Perspectives on Learning and Teaching, Elsevier.

Artin Goncu, Ph.D
Educational Psychology
College of Education M/C 147
1040 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-5259

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