Sunday, February 16, 2014

The importance of play in the classroom

Good morning. On the Texas State University's webpage I found their child development center. I particularly like the quote on the page from Fred Rogers: "Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." Fred Rogers 1928-2003.

The mission of the School of Family & Consumer Sciences Texas State Child Development Center is to provide a model early education and child care program for University students, staff, faculty, and the community.

I am posting this link because when I researched organizations in the state of Texas for play and child development it was the first on the list. After discussing play and its importance with the Executive Director for Early Childhood in my school district (Fort Worth ISD) she suggested I look for local, state, and national organizations to join and research. Dr. Rangel and I agree that play in early childhood is key for children to develop and to be successful as learners. Texas State University is located in San Marcos, TX, south of Austin, TX and I'm assuming the names of the different age groups for the children are named after flowers (daisies, buttercups, tiger lillies) because of Lady Bird Johnson. Lady Bird Johnson was Lyndon B. Johnson's wife and she founded the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX to protect and preserve native plants.

Texas Christian University in Fort Worth has a preschool program for Special Education students called KinderFrogs.  TCU also has a partnership with the Fort Worth ISD with their student teachers and also leadership programs for Principals. We are working together to have the best qualified teachers and administrators for our students.

Play in early childhood is so important and I look forward to legislative changes to bring more play back into early childhood classrooms and less focus on testing in Pre-K, K, and 1st grade classrooms. I found the Southern Early Childhood Association's webpage and their mission is to bring together preschool, kindergarten, and primary teachers and administrators, caregivers, program directors, and individuals working with and for families, to promote quality care and education for young children. Within the SECA I found the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. I found an interesting article on the expulsion rates of preschoolers. I want to research further if one cause is the lack of play and the focus of testing in Pre-K and K classrooms. I know there are other factors but I am curious if the lack of play is one.

On the International Play Association's webpage I found the IPA summary of the United Nations General Comment number 17, Article 31 promoting the Child's Right to Play. There is a video promoting this article.

I look forward to discussing this topic further with my classmates. Thank you, Cissy