[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [xmca] FW: Cultural History of Play

For people who read the article and want more details about the recent
innovations in NYC playgrounds --

Mead's article is very interesting, but she did not write very much about
HOW the children are using these new playgrounds ... I have spent most
evenings this summer in the playground in which the child read, and lifted
her shirt to the mist of the sprinkler (according to Mead), because this new
playground is right by my apartment and my child is four.  It is a dangerous
playground, compared to most others in NY and CA, but how I hope it stays
open and unchanged!
The children play in this playground as if they have been shocked/suddenly
charged with joyful energy.  They run through the gates as if they are
returning to an old friend.  At dusk all you hear is crying because so many
children are dismayed that they must leave the sand and water.
My own child said, the first day he played in this new playground, "This is
everything I wanted all year." This weekend, visiting cousins in the
suburbs, he said, "I don't know why they want to live here, where there is
no Pier 6 (the local name for this new playground)."  It seems to me, from
my observations over the past weeks, that this particular new playground is
unlike playgrounds I have seen in the US before (and only like the
playgrounds I saw in London in the mid 80's (with their dangerously high
wooden structures and daredevil ten year olds) -- ).  This is because this
playground combines open-ended materials (lots of sand and water) with risk
(height and speed and spaces away from adults), and with city children who
are used to interacting with children they have never met before, and also
skilled at standing up for what they believe is best for everyone when
conflict arises.  The combination produces meaningful events -- all over the
playground and all day long.  Pier 6 very quickly turns into a place imbued
with memories, a space alive with associations -- The children do not get
bored of the equipment, but instead seem to find the place richer, and more
their very own, each time they return.
A water taxi (3$ round trip and children ride free), leaves the playground
just behind the swings and magically takes you off the land and over the
water, in the open air to the Brooklyn bridge, Manhattan, etc. -- but what
is most popular among the four year olds whom we have brought to the
playground is a 15 minute boat ride in a circle, nleaving Pier 6 behind only
briefly and then returning for another episode of experiencing.

On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 2:55 AM, Mary van der Riet <vanderriet@ukzn.ac.za>wrote:

> Indirectly related to your forwarded post Mike :  Rebecca Mead on how
> playground design affects children’s brains:
> http://www.newyorker.com/online/2010/07/05/100705on_audio_mead
> Mary
> Mary van der Riet; School of Psychology; University of KwaZulu-Natal
> Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209
> email: vanderriet@ukzn.ac.za
> tel: 033 260 6163;  fax: 033 2605809
> >>> mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> 06/29/10 18:22 PM >>>
> Thanks Rod. I know that several XMCA folks are interested in this topic.
> I think that publication of part of Elkonin's doktorat would be a
> contribution here.
> mike
> On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:31 AM, Rod Parker-Rees <
> R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:
> > Dear all,
> >
> > I thought some of you might be interested in this.
> >
> > With best wishes,
> >
> > Rod
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Issues around children's play needs [mailto:
> > PLAY-CHILDREN@JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Alice Atkinson-Bonasio
> > Sent: 29 June 2010 08:34
> > Subject: Cultural History of Play
> >
> > Dear List Members,
> >
> > I am currently conducting some preliminary research for an edited
> > collection of works addressing the cultural history of Play.  We are
> > particularly interested in work that addresses and unpacks the meaning
> and
> > cultural importance of particular play phenomena in the past. This is
> not
> > about the objects and mechanics of play in and of themselves, but the
> way
> > that play as it happened in the past is connected to wider structures
> of
> > identity, power, pleasure, work and consumption practices, etc.
> >
> > We are aiming to gather material and a list of contributors for a
> symposium
> > in 2011, with a planned date for publication around the end of 2012.
> >
> > If you have some material that might be appropriate or would like to
> be
> > involved, please do get in touch as soon as possible. Equally, if you
> are
> > unsure that your area of interest fits the above description, drop me
> a line
> > and I'll be happy to clarify things.
> >
> > Furthermore, if anybody has any suggestions of other email groups
> which
> > might be relevant to this project, please do let me know.
> >
> > Many thanks in advance for your help and I look forward to your
> responses.
> >
> > All the best,
> >
> > Alice Atkinson-Bonasio
> > Research Assistant
> > "Cultural History of Play" Project
> > University of the West of England
> > Alice.Atkinson-Bonasio@uwe.ac.uk
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> Please find our Email Disclaimer here: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/disclaimer/
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca

Beth Ferholt
Assistant Professor
School of Education
Brooklyn College, City University of New York
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889

Email: bferholt@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Phone: (718) 951-5205
Fax: (718) 951-4816
xmca mailing list