Today I thought I’d mention Dr. Olga Jarrett and how she has contributed so much to the child’s world of play. She has done serious research about child development and she especially recognizes the importance of socialization. I find socialization to be a serious casualty of the current reform movement in our public schools. Dr. Jarrett speaks to this, and much more, in her writings about the importance of play.
Socialization comes about through play and children, unfortunately, don’t get much of it these days. Many schools have eliminated recess for years, and although some school districts recognize now what a mistake that was, others don’t.
Some schools claim they have brought back recess, like in last Sunday’s Parade magazine (“Three Cheers for School”). But if you read between the lines they set up games for children. They micromanage everything. That’s not really recess.
There seems to be little trust in children to have a supervised break where they can rejuvenate.
So how do children step away from the unfortunate “rigor” they face daily? When do they get to know each other in school? How do they get to work out differences? Do they ever get a chance to learn about mediation?
I often wonder how the play-abandoned children of today will work together as adults in the future.
Dr. Jarrett’s work is worth exploring. I have noted a book she co-authored under Early Childhood. I also found a selection about her on a website about games. It’s fun! I will post it and blog about it tomorrow. It is always nice to take a break from the bad reform news.
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