Early Literacy, Play, and a Teaching Philosophy

Patricia M. Cooper

in The Classrooms All Young Children Need

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226115238
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226115252 | DOI:
Early Literacy, Play, and a Teaching Philosophy

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This chapter sets the parameters for discussion with respect to the significance of Vivian Paley's play-based approach to the early childhood curriculum by examining the current opposition to it. The chapter explores the theoretical underpinnings of Paley's philosophy of education relevant to play, story, and early literacy, giving attention to Vygotsky's theory of the role of play in development and Dewey's view of play as meaningful activity. The chapter also considers the hidden effect this change has wrought on the professional development of teachers. The application of Vygotsky's theory of the role of play in development to Paley's work differs in one respect, that is, Paley's consistent use of the metaphor of work to describe young children's play. This book's author states that she learnt lot of lessons as a young teacher from observing young children on playground that transferred into the classroom and this made her better at early literacy instruction.

Keywords: Vivian Paley; play-based approach; childhood curriculum; Vygotsky's theory; professional development; young children

Chapter.  7359 words. 

Subjects: Schools Studies

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