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ED 595 Play in the Early Childhood Curriculum
Wilson, Catherine


Park University
________________________________________________________________SyllabusCOURSE NUMBER: ED 595
COURSE TITLE: Play in the Early Childhood Curriculum
TERM COURSE BEING TAUGHT: Spring I 2005
NAME OF FACULTY MEMBER: Dr. Catherine Wilson
TITLE OF FACULTY MEMBER: Associate Professor
FACULTY OFFICE LOCATION: Copley 320
FACULTY OFFICE HOURS: M-F 9:00-10:00; 11:30-1:00; W 9:00-10:30
FACULTY OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER: 816-584-6342
FACULTY PARK EMAIL ADDRESS: catherinew@mail.park.edu
DATES OF THE TERM: January 10-March 6
CLASS SESSIONS DAYS: Tuesday
CLASS SESSION TIME: 5:00-9:30
PREREQUISITE(S): none
CREDIT HOURS: 3hrs.

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

VISION STATEMENT
Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: An in-depth exploration of play as an integral component of early learning. Emphasis is placed on the roles of the teacher in observing play, developing and refining teaching strategies that support and extend children’s play, and advocating for the play in the early childhood curriculum.


COURSE GOALS: Through play children are able to explore and represent their sense of the world, encounter new intellectual challenges, develop social understandings, expand language skills, and strengthen critical dispositions. Early childhood educators currently experience considerable political pressure to narrow the curriculum in the early years of schooling to the “basics” of literacy and numeracy. To ensure that play is an integral part of early learning, early childhood professionals must have strong understandings of the contributions of play to children’s development, and the ability to communicate to stakeholders the richness of learning opportunities embedded in meaningful play. This course provides opportunities to 1) investigate the various elements that shape views of play and education in both U.S.and global contexts; 2) analyze the arguments of critical theorists concerning play in the early childhood curriculum, 3) examine play as documented by teacher researchers who seek to understand play from the child’s perspective, 4) explore the multiple roles of the teacher during play, and 5) develop strategies to ensure that play remains a valued component in the early childhood curriculum, (birth-grade 3)

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY:
Developing as a teacher is a complex process that occurs most effectively in learning communities that provide rich opportunities for inquiry and reflection, and that cultivate a sense of curiosity, integrity, social justice, and professionalism.


COURSE OUTCOMES: Learners will be able to:

• conduct in-depth studies of play in classroom settings or issues concerning play. (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (Research project)
• analyze the contributions of play to children’s development.
(NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (Research project; Weekly journals)
• examine different theoretical and cultural perspectives of play (NAEYC 1, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 4, 6) (Weekly journals)
• develop strategies for effectively observing, supporting, and extending children’s play. (NAEYC Standards 3, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (Research project; Weekly journals)
• communicate a child’s progress to families. (NAEYC Standards 2, 3; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (Research project; Weekly journals)
• critically review issues related to the influence of popular culture and violence in play. (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (Weekly journals)
• advocate for the central role of play in the early childhood curriculum.
(NAEYC Standard 5; Professional Tool 8, 9) (Weekly journals)


COURSE READINGS:

Primary Classrooms: Opportunities for school-sanctioned play are rare in most primary settings. These ethnographic studies conducted by a classroom teacher (Gallas) or in collaboration with the teacher (Dyson) explore the spaces that children appropriate for their representations of popular culture, gender, identity, and social relationships, including writing, conversations, and outdoor play.

Dyson, A. H. (2003). The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school culture. NY: Teachers College Press.

Gallas, K. (1998). “Sometimes I can be anything:” Power, gender, and identity in a primary classroom. NY: Teachers College Press.

PreK and Kindergarten Classrooms: While professional policy statements promote play as the centerpiece of the early childhood curriculum, opportunities for child-initiated play are being compromised by an increasingly academic focus for many children in publicly funded PreK programs, and relegated to the peripheries of the daily life of the kindergarten classroom. These readings provide examples of teacher researchers attempting to understand the complexities of play, appreciate the intentions of children, and examine the roles of teachers.

Perry, J. P. (2001). Outdoor play: Teaching strategies with young children. NY: Teachers College Press.

Reynolds, G., & Jones, E. (1997). Master players: Learning from children at play. NY: Teachers College Press.

Historical and Cultural Contexts of Play:
Barnes, D. R. (1998). Play in historical contexts. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 5-13) NY: Garland

King, N. R. (1992). The impact of context on the play of young children. In Kessler, S., & B. B. Swadener (Eds.). Reconceptualizing the early childhood curriculum: Beginning the dialogue. (pp. 43-61). NY: Teachers College Press.

Roopnarine, J. L., Lasker, J., Sacks, M., & Stores, M. (1998). The cultural contexts of children’s play. In. O.N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.) Multiple perspectives on play in early childhood education. (p. 194-219). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Tobin, J. J, Wu, D. Y. H., & Davidson, D. H. (1989). Preschool in three cultures. (pp. 188-221). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


Social Contexts of Play in U.S. Settings
Dargan, A., & Zeitlin, S. (1998). City play. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 219-224) NY: Garland

Fein, G. G. & Wiltz, N. W. (1998). Play as children see it. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 37-49) NY: Garland

Rivkin, M. S. (1998). Children’s outdoor play: An endangered activity. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 225-231) NY: Garland

Trawick-Smith, J. (1998). School-based play and social interactions. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 241-247) NY: Garland

Theories and Categories of Play
DeVries, R. (1998). Games with rules. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 409-415) NY: Garland

Kavanaugh, R. D., & Engel, S. (1998). The development of pretense and narrative in early childhood. In. O.N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.) Multiple perspectives on play in early childhood education. (p. 80-99). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Monighan Nourot, P. (1998). Sociodramatic play: Pretending together. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 378-391). NY: Garland

Pelligrini, A. D. (1998). Rough-and-tumble play from childhood through adolescence. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 401-408). NY: Garland

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). The role of play in development. In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (Eds.) Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. (pp. 92-104). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.






Play and the Early Childhood Curriculum: Examining Assumptions The following readings are intended to provoke early childhood educators to critically examine assumptions about definitions, contexts, and approaches to play in the curriculum.

Canella, G. S. & Viruru, R. (1997). Privileging child-centered play-based instruction. In G. S. Cannella. Deconstructing early childhood education: Social justice and revolution. (pp. 117-136). NY: Peter Lang.

Henry, A. (1996). Five black women teachers critique child-centered pedagogy: Possibilities and limitations of oppositional standpoints. Curriculum Inquiry, 26, 363-384.

Hyun, E. (1998). Culture and development in children’s play. In E. Hyun. Making sense of developmentally and culturally appropriate practice (DCAP) in early childhood education. (pp. 15-30). NY: Peter Lang

Play and Literacy Development
Branscombe, N. A., & Taylor, J. B. (2000). “It would be good as Snow White: Play and prosody. In K. A. Roskos & J. F. Christie (Eds.) Play and literacy in early childhood: Research from multiple purposes. (pp. 169-188). Mahweh, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hall, N. (2000). Literacy, play, and authentic experience. In K. A. Roskos & J. F. Christie (Eds.) Play and literacy in early childhood: Research from multiple purposes. (pp. 189-204). Mahweh, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Roskos, K., & Neuman, S. B. (1998). Play an opportunity for literacy. In. O.N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.) Multiple perspectives on play in early childhood education. (p. 100-115). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Issues in Contemporary U.S. Society
Espinoza, L. (1997). Personal dimensions of leadership. In S. L. Kagan & B. T. Bowman (Eds.) Leadership in early care and education. (pp. 97-102). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Guddemi, M., Jambor, T., Moore, R. (1998). Advocacy for the child’s right to play. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 519-529). NY: Garland.

Jambor, T. (1998). Challenge and risk-taking in play. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 319-323). NY: Garland

Levin, D. (1998). Play with violence: Understanding and responding effectively. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 348-356). NY: Garland

Provenzo, E. R., Jr. (1998). Electronically mediated playscapes. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 513-518). NY: Garland

Silvern, S. B. (1998). Educational implications of play with computers. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 530-536). NY: Garland

ACADEMIC HONESTY: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community. Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments. Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”

PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance. Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences. The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”. An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student. Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: Work must be turned in on time.

COURSE ASSESSMENT:
1. Weekly Journal. The purpose of the weekly journal is to encourage a synthesis of the thinking of various authors and to promote a reflective stance on the part of the reader. Readings should be specifically referenced with a well-developed discussion of the provocations the authors are providing to your own thinking. Journals should be submitted weekly for a total of six (6) entries for the session. (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). 60pts.



PreK and Kindergarten Classroom Teachers
2. Part I: Case Study or Ethnographic Study of a Play Area. Select from the following two projects: 1) conduct case studies of two children (a master player and an “invisible child”) for a five-week period, or 2) conduct an in-depth ethnographic study of a play area. Your study should include 1) videotapes, audiotapes, or anecdotal records of the play with an analysis of each session, including a discussion of the contributions of the play situation to the child’s development and learning, 2) strategies for communicating information with families, and a 3) reflection on your learnings and their application for your teaching. (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Part II: Advocacy Plan. Based upon your learnings and the needs of your teaching community, develop a strategy for taking a leadership role in advocating for play and/or teacher research about play in children’s learning. This project may include but not be limited to 1) a presentation/workshop for families, coworkers, etc. or 2) a well-developed strategy for working with administrators. Your plan should be presented in the form of a detailed plan including rationale and strategies. (NAEYC Standard 5; Professional Tools 8, 9) 100pts.

Primary Classroom Teachers
3. Case Study or Ethnographic Study. Based upon the questions raised by the course readings written by teacher-researchers, identify a question that will allow you to pursue inquiry in your own classroom. The topic should focus on an element of the “unofficial” world created by children in your classroom. Your study should include 1) videotapes, audiotapes or anecdotal records of the interactions with an analysis of each session, including a discussion of the contributions of the play situation to the child’s development and learning, and 2) reflections on your learnings and their application for your teaching. (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Advocacy Plan. Based upon your learnings and the needs of your teaching community, develop a strategy for taking a leadership role in advocating for play and/or teacher research about play in children’s learning. This project may include but not be limited to 1) a presentation/workshop for families, coworkers, etc. or 2) a well-developed strategy for working with administrators. Your plan should be presented in the form of a detailed plan including rationale and strategies. (NAEYC Standard 5; Professional Tools 8, 9) 100pts.

(Alternative research assignment)
4. Part I: Select a topic for further inquiry appropriate to your setting, for example, the play of English language learners, literacy and play, children with special needs, cultural differences in play, or violence and play. Research the topic using a minimum of ten (10) sources. Your written report should include a well-developed rationale for your choice a topic, and an in-depth literature review that synthesizes relevant issues and research. Your oral report for the class should provide your colleagues with a strong understanding of the issues and of relevant research. (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; Professional Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Part II: Advocacy Plan. Based upon your learnings and the needs of your teaching community, develop a strategy for taking a leadership role in advocating for play and/or teacher research about play in children’s learning. This project may include but not be limited to 1) a presentation/workshop for families, coworkers, etc. or 2) a well-developed strategy for working with administrators. Your plan should be presented in the form of a detailed plan including rationale and strategies. (NAEYC Standard 5; Professional Tools 8, 9) 100pts.

160-148pts.=A
147-130pts.=B
129-109pts.=C

DISABILITY GUIDELINES: Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: www.park.edu/disability

COURSE TOPICS/DATES/ASSIGNMENTS:
Course Topics Date Assignments
Week 1:
Teacher Researchers January 10 Primary Teachers: Dyson, A. H. (2003). The brothers and sisters learn to write: Popular literacies in childhood and school culture. NY: Teachers College Press.

PreK & K Teachers:
Reynolds, G., & Jones, E. (1997). Master players: Learning from children at play. NY: Teachers College Press.

Weekly Journal
Week 2:
Teacher Researchers January 17 Primary Teachers:
Gallas, K. (1998). “Sometimes I can be anything:” Power, gender, and identity in a primary classroom. NY: Teachers College Press.

PreK & K Teachers:
Perry, J. P. (2001). Outdoor play: Teaching strategies with young children. NY: Teachers College Press.


Weekly Journal
Week 3:
Historical and Cultural Contexts of Play

January 24 Barnes, D. R. (1998). Play in historical contexts. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 5-13) NY: Garland

King, N. R. (1992). The impact of context on the play of young children. In Kessler, S., & B. B. Swadener (Eds.). Reconceptualizing the early childhood curriculum: Beginning the dialogue. (pp. 43-61). NY: Teachers College Press

Roopnarine, J. L., Lasker, J., Sacks, M., & Stores, M. (1998). The cultural contexts of children’s play.
In. O.N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.) Multiple perspectives on play in early childhood education. (p. 194-219). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Tobin, J. J, Wu, D. Y. H., & Davidson, D. H. (1989). Preschool in three cultures. (pp. 188-221). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Weekly Journal
Week 4:
Social Contexts of Play in U.S. Settings
January 31 Dargan, A., & Zeitlin, S. (1998). City play. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 219-224) NY: Garland

Fein, G. G. & Wiltz, N. W. (1998). Play as children see it. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 37-49) NY: Garland

Rivkin, M. S. (1998). Children’s outdoor play: An endangered activity. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 225-231) NY: Garland

Trawick-Smith, J. (1998). School-based play and social interactions. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 241-247) NY: Garland
Weekly Journal
Week 5:
Theories and Categories of Play


February 7 DeVries, R. (1998). Games with rules. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 409-415) NY: Garland

Kavanaugh, R. D., & Engel, S. (1998). The development of pretense and narrative in early childhood. In. O.N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.) Multiple perspectives on play in early childhood education. (p. 80-99). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Monighan Nourot, P. (1998). Sociodramatic play: Pretending together. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 378-391). NY: Garland

Pelligrini, A. D. (1998). Rough-and-tumble play from childhood through adolescence. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 401-408). NY: Garland

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). The role of play in development. In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (Eds.) Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. (pp. 92-104). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Weekly Journal
Week 6:
Play and the Early Childhood Curriculum: Examining Assumptions The following readings are intended to provoke early childhood educators to revisit assumptions about definitions, contexts, and approaches to play.

.

February 14 Canella, G. S. & Viruru, R. (1997). Privileging child-centered play-based instruction. In G. S. Cannella. Deconstructing early childhood education: Social justice and revolution. (pp. 117-136). NY: Peter Lang.

Henry, A. (1996). Five black women teachers critique child-centered pedagogy: Possibilities and limitations of oppositional standpoints. Curriculum Inquiry, 26, 363-384.

Hyun, E. (1998). Culture and development in children’s play. In E. Hyun. Making sense of developmentally and culturally appropriate practice (DCAP) in early childhood education. (pp. 15-30). NY: Peter Lang

Espinoza, L. (1997). Personal dimensions of leadership. In S. L. Kagan & B. T. Bowman (Eds.) Leadership in early care and education. (pp. 97-102). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Weekly Journal
Week 7: Play and Literacy Development

February 21 Branscombe, N. A., & Taylor, J. B. (2000). “It would be good as Snow White: Play and prosody. In K. A. Roskos & J. F. Christie (Eds.) Play and literacy in early childhood:
Research from multiple purposes. (pp. 169-188). Mahweh, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hall, N. (2000). Literacy, play, and authentic experience. In K. A. Roskos & J. F. Christie (Eds.) Play and literacy in early childhood: Research from multiple purposes. (pp. 189-204). Mahweh, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Roskos, K., & Neuman, S. B. (1998). Play an opportunity for literacy. In. O.N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.) Multiple perspectives on play in early childhood education. (p. 100-115). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Weekly Journal
Week 8:
Issues in Contemporary U.S. Society
February 28 Guddemi, M., Jambor, T., Moore, R. (1998). Advocacy for the child’s right to play. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 519-529). NY: Garland

Jambor, T. (1998). Challenge and risk-taking in play. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 319-323). NY: Garland


Levin, D. (1998). Play with violence: Understanding and responding effectively. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 348-356). NY: Garland

Provenzo, E. R., Jr. (1998). Electronically mediated playscapes. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 513-518). NY: Garland

Silvern, S. B. (1998). Educational implications of play with computers. In D. P. Fromberg & D. Bergen (Eds.) Play from birth to twelve and beyond: Contexts, perspectives, and meanings. (pp. 530-536). NY: Garland

Weekly Journal
Research/Advocacy Projects due