A Child's Work: The Importance Of Fantasy Play

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-05-01

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The buzz word in education today is accountability. But the federal mandate of "no child left behind" has come to mean curriculums driven by preparation for standardized tests and quantifiable learning results. Even for very young children, unstructured creative time in the classroom is waning as teachers and administrators are under growing pressures to measure school readiness through rote learning and increased homework. In her new book, Vivian Gussin Paley decries this rapid disappearance of creative time and makes the case for the critical role of fantasy play in the psychological, intellectual, and social development of young children. A Child's Work goes inside classrooms around the globe to explore the stunningly original language of children in their role-playing and storytelling. Drawing from their own words, Paley examines how this natural mode of learning allows children to construct meaning in their worlds, meaning that carries through into their adult lives. Proof that play is the work of children, this compelling and enchanting book will inspire and instruct teachers and parents as well as point to a fundamental misdirection in today's educational programs and strategies.

Author Biography

<B>Vivian Gussin Paley<B>, a kindergarten teacher for thirty-seven years, primarily at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, has received numerous awards and accolades, including a MacArthur Award and, most recently, the John Dewey Society's Outstanding Achievement Award. She is the author of eleven other books, three of which are published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

one young children 1(3)
two the language of play 4(5)
three charlotte and cinderella 9(7)
four the first rungs of the ladder 16(4)
five the invention of theater 20(5)
six looking for peter rabbit 25(5)
seven frogs, kittens, and bad guys 30(5)
eight before there was school, there were stories 35(7)
nine big A and little a 42(6)
ten anxious families, philosophical children 48(9)
eleven the art of conversation 57(3)
twelve who owns the subject? 60(6)
thirteen simon's story 66(4)
fourteen proving what we know 70

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