Not Just Cute: Play v Academics

At Sport for Thought we’re all for a balance between play and learning, and as we’ve talked about before, they really do go hand in hand.

But it’s always good to know that we’re not alone in our fight and that these kind of arguments are happening all across the world. Recently we stumbled upon this post by ‘Not Just Cute’, a child development blog for pre-schoolers.

The post ‘Play v Academics‘ looks at how play and learning is often seen as a dichotomy, even though the two are clearly interdependent.

The following is from their blog:

In one corner, you have those arguing for more academics to give children that head start that might correct the troubles of high-school drop-outs and low test scores.  They claim that children rise to the occasion and show that they are capable of more than we’ve been asking.

In the other corner, you’ll find those who say play is disappearing from the cultural landscape of America and that its absence is a contributor to many childhood maladies such as obesity, ADHD, and declining social skills.  They say that children “rising to the occasion” are really only performing splinter skills , which are more closely aligned with party tricks than with actual learning.

Certainly, both camps can make compelling arguments.  But each time I read an article giving voice to the two sides, I find myself thinking: these aren’t mutually exclusive points of view.  The notion that a child’s education can either be playful or academic seems to be creating an unfortunate and false dichotomy.

It seems to me that setting play and academics at odds with each other is pitting the method against the goal.  It’s not an either/or choice, it’s a means and an end.”

A really great blog and a really good point, be sure to check them out.


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