Article Link: http://www.ccie.com/article/promoting-equity-through-play/5024757/
Young children’s right and need for play is rapidly disappearing from American early education classrooms; most notably in our country’s most underserved and historically marginalized communities. Play itself has become a political “four-letter word,” best left to more privileged or powerful communities and programs who are able to protect and defend its underlying neuroscience and epistemology. Looking at the ever-present push for traditional academics, and the longstanding narrative regarding underserved students who need to be “readied for kindergarten,” play is now actively marginalized by an educational system that denies equal access and opportunity to play—all too often falling along racially segregated lines, as well as the class and language statuses of the children they serve. Herein lies the crux of one of the most critical equity issues in our field of education today: defining and deciding who has the right to play. (Play being defined here as the fundamental human need to design, create, invent, collaborate, communicate, negotiate, innovate and to freely elevate one’s ideas in partnership with others.)
The Power and Privilege of Play
Often, children living in poverty, or within underrepresented communities, are provided with limited, if any, access to free and independent complex play, due to ...