Imaginative play and story telling occupy key roles in children's psychological development and socialization. Bringing together leading contributors, this volume explores what play and story mean to young children, and how these vital aspects of development can best be supported in child care and educational settings. Vital connections are drawn between children's activities, their interpersonal relationships, and their emerging cognitive and affective capacities. Topics covered include promoting social play in the classroom, storytelling and literacy development, and the influences of early caregiving experiences on attachment and learning. Theoretical and methodological issues in these areas of research are also addressed, as well as social policy implications. The book is inspired by the work of Greta G. Fein, the pioneering teacher, researcher, and child care policymaker, who has contributed an integrative concluding chapter.
"This volume honors Greta G. Fein, consummate authority on children's narrative and pretend play and leading figure in the hybrid discipline of child development/early education. Chapters from noted contributors present the latest research analysis and applications, rife with provocative ideas about social-emotional and symbolic development in context. This outstanding work should spur further research in the area for years to come. As such, it provides excellent fare for graduate-level courses and seminars in child development, family studies, early childhood education, and child-care policy."--James Johnson, PhD, College of Education, The Pennsylvania State University
"This marvelous work brings together many of the most productive and important names in early childhood research. The volume reflects the wonderful influence of Greta G. Fein, the outstanding early childhood educator who has consistently challenged the field with creative, inspired insights into young children's thinking and behavior. I plan to use it as a text in the graduate-level course I teach in Foundations of Early Childhood Education, and it will also be useful for other early childhood education and developmental psychology courses."--Dale C. Farran, PhD, Department of Teaching and Learning, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
"This book contains a wealth of information. The impressive group of contributors elucidate the ways children learn and develop through planned and spontaneous play activities, and provide a broad array of ideas regarding their play. The emphasis on parents as partners in children's schooling is an especially vital concept."--Peggy L. Riethmiller, PhD, Professor Emeritus, College of Education, Michigan State University