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THEORY AS LENSES ON CHILDREN’S PLAY. SIGMUND FREUD. CONTRIBUTION TO THE DISCIPLINE OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT. SIGMUND FREUD . All behavior is motivated, often by unconscious dynamics Freud’s theory of dreams emphasized the meaningfulness of dreams as manifestations of the unconscious mind

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sigmund freud



sigmund freud3
  • All behavior is motivated, often by unconscious dynamics
  • Freud’s theory of dreams emphasized the meaningfulness of dreams as manifestations of the unconscious mind
  • Early childrearing experiences, especially in weaning, toilet training, and the role of the family in the handling of sexuality and aggression, are seen as significant factors in development
  • Freud gave new hope to the treatment of psychopathology and changed social attitudes toward the neurotic and psychotic
  • A major motivating force in human behavior is sexuality, including the idea of infantile sexuality
  • Freud ascribes meaning to errors, forgettings, slips of the tongue, and other unintended behavior, believing that they are expressions of unconscious forces.
psychoanalytic lense
  • As children experience personality growth through id, ego, superego, play becomes vital helping resolve the pressure of biological forces and environmental conditioning
  • Play has therapeutic use in helping children deal with inappropriate experiences
alternative perspective by lili peller 1954
Alternative Perspective by Lili Peller (1954)
  • Play is simply a reflection of the child dealing with reality.
  • Through play, we experiment with the way in which we wish things could be
bateson on play frames
  • When children play they are communicating
  • Children engage in play frame (signaling that we are moving from reality to imagination). Imaginary is a map and reality is the terrain.
  • Play allows children to social skills/role flexibility. Prepares them for future roles in society
catherine garvey s on play talk
  • Explored how children signaled to their playmates during play
  • When play becomes boring or too stressful they terminate it
  • Boys and girls engage in play, however, girls tend to use more language signals
piaget on play as assimilation
  • Interest in thought and reasoning
  • Focus on organization and adaptation
  • A child demonstrates knowledge thru existing schemes.
  • These schemes are used to take in new knowledge. This is called Assimilation
  • Because of new experiences, children are challenged to change the way they think. This is called Accommodation
piaget s stages of development
Piaget’s Stages of Development
  • Sensorimotor. Explore world thru senses. Object Permanence (grasping rattle; repeated dropping of toys)
  • Preoperational. Symbolic play and construction represents the thoughts of children during this stage. (Building with blocks; modeling clay).
  • Concrete. Games with rules.(Marbles, tag)
  • Formal. Games with reasoning and logic.
lev vygotsky on play
  • Vygotsky concerned with the origin of play/how it develops and whether play is the predominant activity of children
  • Concluded that play is not a predominant activity during preschool years but is the leading source of development
  • Rejected the view that play is due to pleasure expression. Instead, play is imaginary, illusory realization of unrealized behaviors. Children are internalizing rules placed by their observations.
  • Maintains that children under 3 cannot engage in imaginary play
vygotsky continued
  • Play objects (pivots) assist children in developing imaginary play. Between ages 3-5yrs, a stick becomes a gun, a pencil becomes a plane
  • Play is a source of development and creates the zone of proximal development (ZPD)
  • ZPD. A range of tasks between those the child can handle independently and those at the highest level she can master thru play or with the help of adults or competent peers
  • Thru scaffolding (degree of support given), adults can help advance children thru play
jerome bruner
  • Play facilitates development in many domains: Problem-solving, cooperative and competitive social interaction, sex roles, cultural acquisition, language, and creativity
  • Play is an immature activity/allows children to explore and master abilities needed in the adult world
  • Play allows for decontextualization. Experiment and make errors without consequences
mildred parten
  • Interested in genetic sociology of classroom. Explore the transition children make as they become social participants in group activities
  • Children transition through the following stages:
    • Uninvolved/nonsocial (age 2). No sense of play/others
    • Onlookers. Observes but does not participate
    • Solitary. Plays alone (ages 2-3)
    • Parallel. Plays near others but plays alone/not sharing
    • Associative. Plays with others, but purposes may not be similar
    • Cooperative. Goals of play are shared and negotiated; tasks and roles relate to play’s purpose. Common goal, product, or game
peer culture and play
  • An important role of the peer culture is the diffusion of values and norms
  • Children often use games and chants to keep others inline or to exclude them from the group.
  • Sometimes, adults considered outsiders.
  • General develops during play on playgrounds and with neighborhood friends. Unsupervised play.
group process developing theory of play
Group Process: Developing Theory of Play
  • Develop at least three assumptions that guide your theory of play and development
  • Explain your theory as it pertains to infancy and early childhood
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your theory
the basics of play


By Heidemann and Hewitt

play a singular experience or multiple exploration
Play: A Singular Experience or Multiple Exploration
  • Children may engage an object or a task and spend much time exploring and manipulating during play.
  • Children may also engage multiple objects or tasks for the purpose of exploration and manipulation.
    • One of the primary reasons objects are employed in play is to promote growth and development
      • Enhancing imagination
      • Curiosity and discovery
play with objects
Play with Objects
  • Sensorimotor Play. Children explore sensory stimulation of collecting information about their environment (Promotes competence and development).
  • Constructive Play. Children begin to manipulate objects to create based on their developing knowledge.
  • Dramatic Play. As children begin to develop imagination, they begin to use objects to represent mental thought processes in order to execute an experience (Representational Skills).
  • In time, children begin to imitate the perceived behaviors and roles of others during play (Role-Playing).
  • Games with Rules