Physical Play and Children’s Digital Games (SpringerBriefs by Krystina Madej

By Krystina Madej


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This intriguing archive of small artifacts was found in a shoebox wrapped in newspapers on a dusty closet shelf in a 27-room house in Indiana. 11 See Fig. 13 Locke’s ideas on the effectiveness which children’s natural affinity for play can make learning engaging were taken further by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In his classic Emile or On Education (1762), Rousseau proposed that play and leisure, and, in particular, the perfecting of a strong body, should be central to children’s develop11 Jane Johnson Manuscript Nursery Library, ca.

First aided by adults, children ultimately integrate these tools into their own thinking and way of doing things and become self sufficient. Vygotsky believed children only learn through collaboration within their social environment: not only does cognition develop within the cultural milieu but it does so through interpersonal connections. Social interactions provide children with the means to access experience which they then incorporate into their view of the way things work. Learning involves children’s actual development level—when they can perform on their own—and the zone of proximal development—the period of time in which they need help in learning skills.

From his perspective, instruction was naturally playful: he gave the example of a mother bringing to her child instruction in a pleasant and delightful way from the moment she takes him on her lap. Pestalozzi promoted the idea, held by philosopher/educators before him, and that guided many future pedagogues in building educational theory: …play is a natural gift, propensity, or inclination of children, and following its dictates would result in a free-play approach to delightful or playful activities.

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