Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Academic Learning and Play
Play has an important place in the classroom and is a critical element of the learning process, particularly for younger children. For preschool-aged children, play is a key learning experience that teaches social skills and self-regulation and fosters cognitive capabilities, such as creativity and working memory. For older children, play continues to support learning objectives by increasing literacy, strengthening writing skills, and enhancing self-regulation skills. When play is used in the academic environment, children may enjoy the learning process more, which helps children to become self-directed and self-motivated learners. Overall, play is a critical component of the learning process, and an understanding of the role of play in academic learning is necessary for parents and educators. According to Victoria Dimidjian, editor of a volume on play in public education, play is best understood as one end of a work-play continuum. To define play by these terms, where play is internally ...