Came across this amazing cartoon this morning while browsing through a group I am in on Facebook. Yes, sometimes I am a social media junkie. But, most of my social media junkie moments are still focused in the EC world. Yes, I still need a life.
But, back to the important part – this cartoon! What I love about this is that we can probably all relate to this. Many parents are wondering just how is play learning? And we are struggling on how to communicate it! This cartoon breaks down just a few ways that learning and growth is happening during play. Now the fiery passionate advocate in me could continue to be flustered over this or I could step back and realize that knowing play is learning is not something that comes naturally to everyone – and really not to us either. If you are teaching through play, chances are that you have spent time studying play while obtaining a certificate or degree, reading books, attending conferences, and the many ways early childhood advocates refine their knowledge. So, why do we get baffled when a parent wants evidence? Many of us, I am sure, just want all of humanity to honor childhood for the joy and window of wonder it is. The push down of American education has greatly taken its toll on childhood and the preservation of play. The obsession with results has hindered the ability to nurture children with love and support as they grow into whole beings and not just brains filled with splinter skills. So as educators how do we battle the inevitable. The fact that society is pushing traditional skill driven education is not going to change over night. What can we do today to sell PLAY?
I think the first step is to find tidbits like these cartoons to share with parents and community members. Small steps sometimes take us on far journeys. Each day as early childhood educators we fight for children and their right to play but sometimes we forget to create allies with small steps.
Take a small step… share this cartoon or simple supportive bits of evidence of how play is learning. Maybe it is a photo with a caption, a brief article, a documentation sample… Take a moment to share the little pieces that sold you on PLAY, these little pieces might just be what changes the world for children, education, and you as an educator.