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Discussion 7- The Play’s The Thing





While it has been proven that play has a significant impact on a learner’s behavior, learning, and growth, some teachers still have questions on whether or not they should be involved in children’s play. According to research, many instructors still lack the answer to the question of why teachers play. According to Jones & Reynolds (2011), some teachers enter play spontaneously for their own, or the learners’ pleasure in The Play’s the Thing. They take their cues from leaners, and the relationship is one of mutuality.” However, the authors argue that teachers should make conscious use of play for teaching purposes being careful to avoid the risk of taking over the play. Teachers of learners who come to school unfamiliar with its play scripts, language, or materials may need to enter into play with the learners to build bridges from home culture to school culture (Jones & Reynolds, 2011). To effectively help children build these bridges, I will take the initiative of becoming more familiar with the events, language, and materials of kids’ home culture and introduce them into school activities, not just on special occasions but as a part of the daily play environment.

Jones & Reynolds (2011) affirm that it is inevitable that some of the children’s play will be interpreted by grownups, some of which may be intentional or accidental. The authors argue that both teacher as a player and the teacher as a mediator risk interpreting children’s play often for the sake of teaching something they treasure more. Based on the book, adults often interpret children’s play for three main reasons: Interpreting for one’s pleasure in play, interpreting to teach concepts, or interpreting to teach rules. However, teachers should keep in mind that every intervention made on children’s play must be tailored to conform to the various scripts that the children are playing. This way, instead of taking the play over or destroying it, the teacher will sustain it. 

Attentive teachers should build on children’s play in an attempt to engage the kids’ minds. Kids’ plays draw their scripts from their real-life and imaginary experiences. In improvising, kids most of the time interrupt each other’s scripts. Sometimes such interruptions occur within cooperative dramatic plays when the children discover that their various versions of the scripts are different. At such points, the children temporarily move out of role to debate the issue. Kids, however, argue as peers, whereas if an adult moves to set the dramatic play straight with their version of the script, they can easily take away the initiative from the kids (Jones & Reynolds, 2011). Therefore, instead of interrupting for his own pleasure, or to teach some rules or concepts, a teacher should try to build on the play.



Jones, E. & Reynolds, G. (2011) 
The play’s the Thing: Teachers’ roles in children’s play 
(2nd Ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.