Throughout this course, you have evaluated the relationship between play and learning for young children. For this Final Paper, you will assume the role of an early care provider or administrator. In this hypothetical role, you have become aware that several parents are critical of your decision to provide time for children to engage in activities such as dramatic play and peer-to-peer conversations. Most of the parents do not understand the developmental value of these activities; they tend to believe that a quiet classroom is one in which students are engaged in “real” learning. The parents are requesting that you spend more time on “academics.” Your goal is to construct a paper that presents your framework of play and learning for the young child so you can effectively communicate with family members about the need for play as an integrated part of the curriculum. The prompt for this assignment was adapted from Charlesworth (2013, p. 358).Note: For the purposes of this course we use the term parents; however, this may also include primary care- givers, family members, and parental guardians.Creating the Final PaperCreate your Final Paper to meet the content and written communication expectations stated below.Content Expectations
- Introduction (2 points): Provide an introduction that includes a brief discussion of your personal framework of play and learning for the young child. In your introduction, provide a succinct, relevant, and clear overview of the information that will be covered in your paper.
- Stages of Play Summary (3 points): Include a chart and a brief narrative of the stages of play throughout the developmental continuum. In the chart, list the identified stages of play. Next, provide a narrative summary of the stages and development of play that are identified in the chart as represented in the literature.
Stage of Play
Identify the stages of play: unoccupied, solitary/independent, onlooker, parallel, associative, cooperative, etc.
Description of the Stage
Include age range and characteristics of children in this stage. Do children play alone or with others at this stage?
- Cultural Influence Description (3 points): Describe how cultural backgrounds and beliefs that exist within families and communities influence children’s play.
- Framework of Play (7 points): Summarize the theory or combination of theories that are reflected in your beliefs and values about play and learning for the young child. Provide a rationale to support and justify your selection.
- Current Research Summary (3 points): Provide a summary of at least three recent (published within the last 7 years) research articles from the fields of child development, neuroscience, or education. Provide a rationale for each selected article and describe how the research impacts your framework of play.
- Challenges to Play (2 points): Describe an issue that challenges the opportunities for children to participate in and learn from play (e.g., barriers to the learning environment that limit the ability to play or challenges associated with a lack of community recreational areas). Provide a rationale, and suggestions for reducing the impact of your selected issue.
- Authentic Exemplar Activity (5 points): Describe an activity that will serve as an example for families about the importance of play and state why you think this activity will increase a families understanding of the role of play in healthy child growth and development. Please note: You are required to include a description of an activity; you are not required to include a lesson plan.
- For example, during symbolic or dramatic play, children like to make up their own stories. In an effort to promote this type of play, parents can supply children with pots, pans, and other kitchen supplies to explore the idea of symbolic representation. When children use kitchen utensils for drums, hats, and other non-intended purposes, they increase their understanding that one thing can stand for another. Studies show that this type of symbolic play can increase cognitive skills such as complex abstract reasoning and linguistic competence.
- Conclusion (2 points): Your conclusion should re-establish your personal framework of play presented in your introduction. Be sure to clearly and concisely demonstrate the importance of your personal framework.
- Recommendations (1 point): In one to two paragraphs, describe at least one recommended method for sharing the information presented in your Final Paper with families or others involved in the learning process for the purpose of advocating for and promoting learning through play.
Written Communication Expectations
- Page Requirement (.5 points): Eight to ten pages including title page and references page.
- APA Formatting (.5 points): Use APA formatting consistently throughout the assignment as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.).
- Syntax and Mechanics (.5 points): Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics such as spelling and grammar.
- Source Requirement (.5 points): Reference a minimum of three scholarly sources, in addition to the course text, to provide compelling evidence that supports your ideas. All sources on the references page need to be used and cited correctly within the body of your assignment.