|For Immediate Release: March 14, 2013||
Authors of New Book Assert That Early Childhood Educators Benefit From Participating in Play Workshops
From Play to Practice: Connecting Teachers' Play to Children's Learning explores how play workshops for educators help them to understand and promote play-based learning in early childhood settings
"In the current discourse about play and early education, one factor is often overlooked—teachers’ perceptions of play. Teachers who are in touch with the power of play are more likely to use play-based teaching strategies than those who are not. This book raises teachers’ awareness of how play promotes all aspects of children’s development."
—James Christie, Professor, Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University
"Now more than ever, children need help connecting deeply to learning through play. From Play to Practice is exactly the book teachers need to help make this happen."
—Diane E. Levin, Professor, Early Childhood Education, Wheelock College
WASHINGTON —The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is pleased to announce the publication of From Play to Practice: Connecting Teachers' Play to Children's Learning, by Marcia L. Nell and Walter F. Drew, with Deborah E. Bush. This new book draws attention to the need for early childhood educators to have hands-on play experiences to help them better understand and promote the value of play in children’s learning.
Drawing from their years of leading play workshops for adult educators, Nell and Drew outline how these experiences can serve as an important professional development activity for early childhood educators. By participating in the type of hands-on play workshops described in the book, teachers experience firsthand the power of play and then can better understand and promote play-based learning in early childhood programs. The book includes photos from play workshops conducted by the authors and journal reflections of previous workshop participants.
Readers will also find a summary of play theory and a summary of the research on how and why play is important. Also included are case studies in a range of settings, including early childhood programs, undergraduate settings, and a children’s museum. Individual chapters also discuss how to overcome common barriers to using play as a learning tool and information on play advocacy.
“Our book addresses the benefits of using hands-on play as an essential strategy for helping adults strengthen their professional practice with children,” said the authors. “Not only is this resource appropriate for early childhood teachers, it is relevant for awakening the creative power and self-expression of anyone across the entire human life cycle.”
Marcia L. Nell, PhD, is an assistant professor at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate early childhood education courses and supervises student teachers. She previously taught in public schools for 25 years. Her research interests include play and creativity across the life cycle, with an emphasis on the benefits of using self-active play with older adults with and without Alzheimer’s disease. She conducts research on the benefits of the Professional Development School model for teacher training, increasing parent involvement in education, and other aspects of teacher preparation programs, and also serves as the Director of Research and Professional Development for the Institute for Self Active Education.
Walter F. Drew, EdD, earned a bachelor of arts in education from the University of Florida and a doctorate in elementary education from the University of Southern Mississippi. He serves as a facilitator with the NAEYC Play, Policy, and Practice Interest Forum, and is the creator of Dr. Drew’s Discovery Blocks. Previously, he taught at an elementary school in Broward County, Florida, and later served as director of the African Primary Science Program at Njala University in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Together with his wife, Kitty, Walter founded the Institute for Self Active Education in Boston. Since 1975 he has pioneered the development of reusable resource centers as innovative green partnerships with local business and industry.
Deborah E. Bush is a professional writer and editor who has been on the board of the Institute for Self Active Education since 2004. She is an advocate for fostering self-active play, especially for children, who have so much to gain from it.
From Play to Practice: Connecting Teachers' Play to Children's Learning ($28.00; 180 pages; ISBN 978-1-928896-93-7) is available for sale from NAEYC’s Online Store. Review copies are available upon request. For more information about the book or the authors, visit our website.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.