A Child's Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play

Paperback | May 27, 2005

byVivian Gussin Paley

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The buzz word in education today is accountability. But the federal mandate of "no child left behind" has come to mean curriculums driven by preparation for standardized tests and quantifiable learning results. Even for very young children, unstructured creative time in the classroom is waning as teachers and administrators are under growing pressures to measure school readiness through rote learning and increased homework. In her new book, Vivian Gussin Paley decries this rapid disappearance of creative time and makes the case for the critical role of fantasy play in the psychological, intellectual, and social development of young children.

A Child's Work goes inside classrooms around the globe to explore the stunningly original language of children in their role-playing and storytelling. Drawing from their own words, Paley examines how this natural mode of learning allows children to construct meaning in their worlds, meaning that carries through into their adult lives. Proof that play is the work of children, this compelling and enchanting book will inspire and instruct teachers and parents as well as point to a fundamental misdirection in today's educational programs and strategies.

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From the Publisher

The buzz word in education today is accountability. But the federal mandate of "no child left behind" has come to mean curriculums driven by preparation for standardized tests and quantifiable learning results. Even for very young children, unstructured creative time in the classroom is waning as teachers and administrators are under g...

From the Jacket

The buzz word in education today is accountability. But the federal mandate of "no child left behind" has come to mean curriculums driven by preparation for standardized tests and quantifiable learning results. Even for very young children, unstructured creative time in the classroom is waning as teachers and administrators are under g...

Vivian Gussin Paley, a kindergarten and nursery school teacher for thirty-seven years, primarily at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, has received numerous awards and accolades, including a MacArthur Award and most recently the John Dewey Society's Outstanding Achievement Award. She is the author of eleven books, three of w...

other books by Vivian Gussin Paley

You Can't Say You Can't Play
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Mollie Is Three: Growing Up in School
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see all books by Vivian Gussin Paley
Format:PaperbackDimensions:111 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.5 inPublished:May 27, 2005Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226644898

ISBN - 13:9780226644899

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Young Children
2. The Language of Play
3. Charlotte and Cinderella
4. The First Rungs of the Ladder
5. The Invention of Theater
6. Looking for Peter Rabbit
7. Frogs, Kittens, and Bad Guys
8. Before There Was School, There Were Stories
9. Big A and Little a
10. Anxious Families, Philosophical Children
11. The Art of Conversation
12. Who Owns the Subject?
13. Simon's Story
14. Proving What We Know
15. The Subject Was a Puzzle Piece
16. Tom and Jerry
17. Pretenses and Perceptions
18. What If?
19. Franklin in the Blocks
20. Musical Chairs
21. A Letter from England

Editorial Reviews

"This irresistible book is Vivian Gussin Paley at her very best. Her present inssistence on the necessary relation between a rich variety of fantasy play and intellectual growth is represented as a hard-earned, precious insight, on which she will not negotiate."