|Course Type||Course Code||No. Of Credits|
Semester and Year Offered: 1st Semester (Monsoon)
Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Anandini Dar
Email of course coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aim and objectives of the course:
Play, creativity and its relationship with children’s learning are central to early childhood education and development. Research indicates the significance of play and creativity in development across physical, motor, language, cognitive and socio- emotional domains (Bodrova, & Leong, 2003, 2005; Hughes, 2010). Among young children specially, ‘role play’ and ‘fantasy’ forms the backdrop of much of their play. Encouraging creative activities can help to transfer these into play mediums (Scarlette, 2004). Further, the dynamic, interactive and creative process of play and one that is developmentally appropriate, stimulates the whole brain (Armstrong, 2006).
While the Position Paper by the National Focus Group on ‘Arts, Music, Dance and Theatre (NCERT, 2005) proposes an integration of creative activities into the curriculum, classrooms in India often are dominated by rote learning and rigid examination system (NCERT, 2005, 2006), and this trend is observed even in early childhood programs (IECEI, 2014). The recent National Early Childhood Care and Education Policy (MWCD, 2013) also advocates for the need to cater to needs of a child in all developmental domains and promote play based education for young children. Specifically, it points out, the Government shall ensure provision of safe, child friendly and developmentally appropriate play and learning materials and appropriate play spaces by appropriate instruments and instructions. The Government will promote use of traditional songs, stories, lullabies, folk tales, local toys and games as play and learning materials in ECCE settings. (p. 15)
Thus, this course would be beneficial for the students in the MA Education (ECCE) and also MA Education program in order to be able to implement or supervise play based developmentally appropriate activities for a holistic development of the child. It will complement the other courses offered during the first semester of the program by emphasizing the critical role of play and creativity for the development of the child.
At the end of the course, the students should be able to:
Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
Unit 1: Historical, Theoretical and Cultural Perspectives on Play and Creativity (4 Weeks)
This course will begin by examining the historical, theoretical and cultural perspectives on play and creativity. The cognitive-developmental, psychoanalytical and socio-historical approaches will be examined with respect to a child’s intellectual, language, social and emotional development. The inclusion of play and creativity during the early years of a child’s life and the role of adult in the child’s play is seen in relation to the development of the “whole child.” Play as a child’s right will also be examined.
Unit 2: Play and the Development of Play (3 weeks)
This unit will highlight the development of play by describing play at different ages and relating it to physical, social, cognitive and emotional development. Play is discussed in the framework of developmental theories from infancy to later childhood years. Differences between play and exploration will be highlighted with an emphasis on identifying developmentally appropriate play materials (especially toys) and qualitative changes in play throughout the years. Improvisation in play and the role of play in early childhood programs will also be examined.
Unit 3: Functions of Play (4 weeks)
This section will focus on the benefits of play for children’s physical, cognitive and social-emotional development. With respect to cognitive development, the unit will focus on how play materials can enhance children’s emergent literacy skills and problem solving abilities. The social-emotional component will provide an overview of the benefits of play through play-therapy and through parent-child attachment and social integration. The unit will also focus on factors related to variations in play across different settings. These variations are related to gender, physical impairments, cognitive differences and social-emotional issues. This section will further address how adults working with young children can effectively respond to them.
Unit 4: The Creative Process and Products of Children (3 weeks)
This unit will focus on the exploration of principles, methods, and materials for the development of the creative process in young children. Strategies related to incorporating music, movement, visual arts, and dramatic play will be examined, especially through process-orientated experiences to support divergent thinking. The role of new technologies and the changing nature of the creative process will also be examined.
Assessment Details with weights:
Individual or group
Mode and Weightage
Memories of childhood play
1. Develop a list of play activities/ toys that you have played as a child. Also, list play activities your parents and grandparents/ people of your grandparent’s age have played.
2. Pick up any 3 play activities, one each from your parents, grandparents and own childhood days. For these three play activities:
3. Using theories and historical development of play discussed in Unit 1 write a reflective review of the play activities that you have listed. (Suggestion: You may write an autobiographical note about how you played as a child, the time spent on playing daily, your play groups and the materials you used for playing and two other biographical accounts)
Developing a historical, cultural and theoretical understanding of children’s play.
Approximately 1500 words (4-6 pages)
Date of submission: mid-September
Observe a small group of 2-3 children at play for at least 30 minutes in any setting. Document your observations regarding the various activities children are engaged in. Address the following elements in your interpretation:
a. Describe the observed qualities of play; learning that took place. Pay attention to the elements of cognitive, language, literacy, social/emotional, physical and/or creative development.
b. Provide specific details regarding cognitive, physical and social-emotional aspects with respect to the theoretical frameworks.
Write a short paper (3-4 pages) using APA format
Toy making workshop and presentation
Group and individual
25 % total (15% for group
10% for individual presentation)
A research review on any of the topics related to play and creativity (6-8 pages)
Develop a unit (based upon any of the topics related to play and creativity) and support it with the research.
This assignment will be submitted in stages. After you have decided a topic and done the preliminary research on the topic, there will be an in-class presentation which will help you get feedback. The final assignment will be submitted after that.
(10% for presentation
20% for written)
Unit 2: (total pages: approximately 120; includes textbook reading, journal articles, and reports)
Unit 3: (total pages: approximately 100; includes textbook reading and articles from practitioner journals)
Unit 4: (total pages: approximately 90; includes textbook reading and articles from journals—including practitioner journals)