Play And Curriculum Analysis

Decent Essays
Play and Curriculum

How relevant is the value of play to the cognitive development of children in correspondence with the curriculum?

This assignment will cover in depth the relevance of play to the cognitive development of children and how learning is incorporated into play by assessing children’s development during play using the EYFS curriculum. It will discuss why a holistic approach is important to a child’s cognitive development and highlight how this is covered with the Reggio approach, which was developed in a town in Italy and is proving popular in the UK. It will also explain what cognitive development is and discuss the different theoretical perspectives to how play affects learning in the early years, including Piaget’s 4 stages
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In 1840 Fredrick Froebel opened his first kindergarten in Blankenburg, Germany, until this time there had been no educational system for children under seven years, or any recognition that there was any need for early years learning. Froebel introduced building blocks saying that they were the actual building blocks of the universe, this was the beginning of the recognition that play had an important part in a young child’s development and skills for later life. Froebel quotes that ‘Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul’ (LeBlanc, 2016). Froebel’s kindergarten used free play, games, songs, stories and crafts to stimulate imagination, while developing physical and motor skills, designed to meet children’s needs for physical activity, sensory awareness, creative expression and social awareness. His education approach was for ‘self-activity’ which allowed the child to be led by his own interests and freely explore them, he introduced a garden, promoting nature and it was within this setting that he observed the children. Later Maria Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Forest schools and Marjorie Allen all believed that outdoor play and nature were critical to a…show more content…
The four stages of development theory were based on years of observation of children, including his own, all in their natural environment as opposed to in laboratories as some of his predecessors had. Firstly, he envisioned a child’s knowledge as composed of Schema’s, basic units of knowledge used to organise past experiences and understand new ones defining a child’s conclusion or thoughts. Schema’s had two processes, assimilation which is the taking in of new information by relating it to things already known, and accommodation, where the schema itself changes to accommodate new knowledge. Wadsworth (2004) suggests that schemata be thought as ‘index cards’ filed in the brain, each one telling an individual how to react to incoming stimuli or information. Piaget’s observations also led him to believe that cognitive development took place in clearly defined stages of development that were closely linked to age. This led to the opinion that certain learning events could only occur within these critical
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