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SAGE Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood
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SAGE Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood

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July 2014 | 448 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

'This Handbook offers diverse perspectives from scholars across the globe who help us see play in new ways. At the same time the basic nature of play gives a context for us to learn new theoretical frameworks and methods. A real gem!'
- Beth Graue, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, USA

Play and learning scholarship has developed considerably over the last decade, as has the recognition of its importance to children’s learning and development.

Containing chapters from highly respected researchers, whose work has been critical to building knowledge and expertise in the field, this Handbook focuses on examining historical, current and future research issues in play and learning scholarship.

Organized into three sections which consider:

  • theoretical and philosophical perspectives on play and learning
  • play in pedagogy, curriculum and assessment
  • play contexts.

The Handbook's breadth, clarity and rigor will make it essential reading for researchers and postgraduate students, as well as professionals with interest in this dynamic and changing field.

Liz Brooker is Reader in Early Childhood in the Faculty of Children and Learning at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Mindy Blaise is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Early Childhood  Education at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Susan Edwards is Associate Professor in Curriculum and Pedagogy at Australian Catholic University.

This handbook's International Advisory Board included:

Jo Aliwood, The University of Newcastle, Australia
Pat Broadhead, Leeds Metropolitan University, Australia
Stig Brostrom, Aarhus University, Denmark
Hasina Ebrahim, University of the Free State, South Africa
Beth Graue, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, USA
Amita Gupta, The City College of New York, CUNY, USA
Marjatta Kalliala, University of Helsinki, Finland
Rebecca Kantor, University of Colorado Denver, USA
Colette Murphy, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Ellen Sandseter, Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education, Norway


Mindy Blaise, Susan Edwards and Liz Brooker
Part I: Theoretical Perspectives on Play and Learning
Doris Bergen
Foundations of Play Theory
Elena Kravtsova
Play in the Non-Classical Psychology of L.S. Vygotsky
Suzanne Gaskins
Children’s Play as Cultural Activity
Adena Meyers and Laura Berk
Make-Believe Play and Self-Regulation
Bert van Oers
Cultural-historical Perspectives on Play: Central Ideas
Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw
Postcolonial and Anti-Racist Approaches to Understanding Play
Hillevi Lenz Taguchi
New Materialisms and Play
Sue Saltmarsh
Childhood Studies and Play
Susan Grieshaber and Felicity McArdle
Ethical dimensions and perspectives on play
Mindy Blaise
Gender Discourses and Play
Liz Jones and Rachel Holmes
Studying Play through New Research Practices
Susan Edwards, Liz Brooker and Mindy Blaise
Part II: Play and Learning in Pedagogy, Curriculum and Assessment
Elizabeth Wood
The Play-Pedagogy Interface in Contemporary Debates
Stuart Reifel
Developmental Play in the Classroom
Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson and Niklas Pramling
Children’s play and learning and developmental pedagogy
James Johnson
Play Provisions and Pedagogy in Curricular Approaches
Helen Hedges
Children’s content learning in play provision: Competing tensions and future possibilities
Sharon Ryan and Kaitlin Northey-Berg
Professional Preparation for a Pedagogy of Play
Anita Wager and Amy Parks
Learning Mathematics Through Play
Celia Genishi and Anne Haas Dyson
Play as the precursor for literacy development
Pentti Hakkarainen and Milda Bredikyte
Understanding Narrative as a Key Aspect of Play
Michelle Tannock
Physical play and development
Margaret Carr
Play and Playfulness: Issues of Assessment
Liz Brooker, Mindy Blaise and Susan Edwards
Part III: Contexts for Play and Learning
Daniel Cook
Whose Play? Children, Play and Consumption
Stuart Lester and Wendy Russell
Children’s Right to Play
Jennifer Sumsion and Linda Harrison
Infant and Toddler Play
Johanna Einarsdottir
Children’s Perspectives on Play
Christine Stephen and Lydia Plowman
Digital Play
Annica Löfdahl
Play in Peer Cultures
Jennifer Keys Adair and Fabienne Doucet
The Impact of Race and Culture on Play in Early Childhood Classrooms
Rod Parker-Rees
Playfulness and the co-construction of identity in the first years
Maria Evangelou and Mary Wild
Connecting home and educational play: interventions that support children’s learning
Margaret Kernan
Opportunities and affordances in outdoor play
Jackie Marsh
Media, popular culture and play

Sample Materials & Chapters

Free chapter – Media, Popular Culture and Play


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ISBN: 9781446252451
$185.00

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