Play Educational Tool | Education Dissertation

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Is Play a Useful Educational Tool in the Early Years?

‘Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see’ (Postman, 1994, p xi).
The importance of learning, the content and delivery, for children in Year 1 (5 to 6 years of age) is under debate. Arguments are rife through education that formal teaching as prescribed through the Literacy Hour, is developmentally inappropriate for many 6 year olds, and thus recommending that the principles of the Foundation Stage can be extended to cover all children aged between 3 to 7 years of age.

From the Government’s point of view David Bell, the Chief Inspector of Schools in England, was reported in the Sunday Telegraph,31 August 2003 in saying that too many children are not ready for school due to their "disrupted and dishevelled" upbringing. As a result, the verbal and behavioural skills of the nation’s five-year-olds were at an all-time low, causing severe difficulties for schools.

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Much has been stated in this country over the problems that children of5 to 6 years of age face with their education. The Government’s Chief Inspector of Schools has been vocal on the subject: In 2003 children are starting school less well prepared than ever because parents are failing to raise their youngsters properly. One of the key causes waste failure of parents to impose proper discipline at home, which led to poor behaviour in class. Another serious concern was the tendency to sit children in front of the television, rather than talking and playing with them.

This meant that many were unable to speak properly when they started school, stating that parents were still not doing enough to support teachers. "There is evidence that children’s verbal skills are lacking. We should encourage parents to talk to their children and give them a whole range of stimulating things to do and not just assume that the television, or whatever, will do all that for them." He added that the deficiencies of pupils starting school could have lasting effects, particularly where parents continued to fail to offer support to teachers. (Sunday Telegraph, 31 August 2003).

At the time a two-part response to this came from a) Mos. Kaman Gandhi(2003) CEO of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists said behaviour is very obviously linked to language and it is very hard to separate one from the other. "It is clear some parents have problems with their pre-school children. They have the will but sometimes lack the resources and know-how to cope when faced with a child with language difficulties," "Speech and language therapists are involved and engaged with some key initiatives, including Sure Start programmes, which bring together early education, childcare,

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