Integrating Play Into Frameworks of Middle Grades Teaching
Posted by American Educational Research Association on May 18, 2015
Toward More Joyful Learning: Integrating Play Into Frameworks of Middle Grades Teaching
Recent efforts to define qualities of effective teaching practice have done little to capture the role of play, imagination, and creativity in classroom teaching. Drawing on theories of play and data from a two-year case study that included classroom observations, interviews, artifact collection, and surveys, the author examines the ways in which elements of play were present across the practice of eight novice middle grades teachers. Building on examples of play in these classrooms, the author proposes adding the dimension of play to frameworks of middle grades teaching—a dimension that encompasses young adolescents’ engagement in classroom work that involves choice and self-direction, imaginative creations, and a nonstressed state of interest and joy.
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