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Bodrova, E. et al. (2013) Play and Self-Regulation: Lessons from Vygotsky (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The authors consider the analysis of the literature on play research by Lillard and others in the January 2013 "Psychological Bulletin," an analysis that questioned the prevailing assumption of a causal relationship between play and child development, especially in the areas of creativity, reasoning, executive function, and regulation of emotions. The authors regard these connections as critical for teachers in early-childhood classrooms and for other advocates of child play. They claim that the conclusions of Lillard and her coauthors place these professionals in a difficult position because they already face sharp pressure to replace play with academic activities. The authors suggest that the difficulty researchers have in linking play to development partly results from a failure to account for both cognitive and noncognitive developments across a complex trajectory. To help see the problem more clearly, they argue for a return to the Vygotskian and post-Vygotskian theories that differentiate between immature and mature play. The authors then describe their creation, an observational tool based on such theories, that helps researchers and practitioners judge the quality of pretend play.

Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
6
Page/s:
111-123
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literature review
  • Metacognition
  • Pretend play
  • Self-regulation
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Gopnik, A. et al. (0/00) Considering Counterfactuals: The Relationship between Causal Learning and Pretend Play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Many researchers have long assumed imaginative play critical to the healthy cognitive, social, and emotional development of children, which has important implications for early-education policy and practice. But, the authors find, a careful review of the existing literature highlights a need for a better theory to clarify the nature of the relationship between pretend play and childhood development. In particular, they ask why children spend so much time engaging in unreal scenarios at a time when they know relatively little about the real world? The authors review the idea that children pretend because it exercises their developing ability to reason counterfactually--an ability essential for causal reasoning and learning. The authors present a look at their study in progress aimed at assessing their theory. According to the model of play they outline, imaginative play serves as an engine of learning. Such play arises out of the human capacity for causal cognition and feeds back to help develop causal-reasoning skills. (Contains 1 figure.)

Date:
November 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
6
Page/s:
15-28
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Gray, P. (2009) Play as a foundation for hunter-gatherer social existence (Journal Article)

Abstract:
Author/s:
Date:
January 2009
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
1
Page/s:
476–522
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Games with rules
  • Humour
  • Literature review
  • Physical play
  • Playfulness
  • Pretend play
  • Pro-social behaviour
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Gray, P. (2011) The decline of play and the rise of psychopathology in children and adolescents (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Over the past half century, in the United States and other developed nations, children’s free play with other children has declined sharply. Over the same period, anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism have increased sharply in children, adolescents, and young adults. This article documents these historical changes and contends that the decline in play has contributed to the rise in the psychopathology of young people. Play functions as the major means by which children (1) develop intrinsic interests and competencies; (2) learn how to make decisions, solve problems, exert self-control, and follow rules; (3) learn to regulate their emotions; (4) make friends and learn to get along with others as equals; and (5) experience joy. Through all of these effects, play promotes mental health. Key words: anxiety; decline of play; depression; feelings of helplessness; free play; narcissism; psychopathology in children; suicide

Author/s:
Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
3
Page/s:
443–463
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Literature review
  • Mental health
  • Social-emotional
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Nicolopoulou, A. et al. (2013) What Do We Know about Pretend Play and Narrative Development? A Response to Lillard, Lerner, Hopkins, Dore, Smith, and Palmquist on" The Impact of Pretend Play on Children's Development: A Review of the Evidence". (Journal Article)

Abstract:

An article by Angeline S. Lillard and others in the January 2013 issue of Psychologi- cal Bulletin comprehensively reviewed and criticized the existing body of research on pretend play and children’s development. Nicolopoulou and Ilgaz respond specifically to the article’s critical review of research on play and narrative devel- opment, focusing especially on its assessment of research—mostly conducted during the 1970s and 1980s—on play-based narrative interventions. The authors consider that assessment overly negative and dismissive. On the contrary, they find this research strong and valuable, offering some solid evidence of beneficial effects of pretend play for narrative development. They argue that the account of this research by Lillard and her colleagues was incomplete and misleading; that their treatment of relevant studies failed to situate them in the context of a devel- oping research program; and that a number of their criticisms were misplaced, overstated, conceptually problematic, or all of the above. They conclude that this research—while not without flaws, gaps, limitations, unanswered questions, and room for improvement—offers more useful resources and guidance for future research than Lillard and her colleagues acknowledged. Key words: narrative skills; pretend play and child development; research assessments.

Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
6
Page/s:
55–81
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Learning
  • Peers play
  • Pretend play
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: