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Play and Its Role in the Mental Development of the Child

Play and Its Role in the Mental Development of the Child

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Despite his premature death at the age of just 37, Lev Vygotsky is widely considered as one of the leading developmental psychologists of the 20th century. In addition to his seminal contribution to the relationship between language and thought, Lev Vygotsky also put forward ideas regarding the psychology of play, in particular the process of self-regulation through creative play.

This classic article which was orginally given in the form of a speech provides several key insights into Lev Vygotsky's theories of play.
Despite his premature death at the age of just 37, Lev Vygotsky is widely considered as one of the leading developmental psychologists of the 20th century. In addition to his seminal contribution to the relationship between language and thought, Lev Vygotsky also put forward ideas regarding the psychology of play, in particular the process of self-regulation through creative play.

This classic article which was orginally given in the form of a speech provides several key insights into Lev Vygotsky's theories of play.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: David on May 26, 2009
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03/17/2013

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Presents
Play And It’s Role in The Mental Development of The Child
By: Lev VygotskyVoprosy psikhologii, 1966, No. 6(Translated by Catherine Mulholland)First Published 1933Made publically available as part of The Marxists Internet Archive
 
 
In speaking of play and its role in the preschooler’s development, weare concerned with two fundamental questions: first, how play itself arises in development – its origin and genesis; second, the role of thisdevelopmental activity, which we call play, as a form of developmentin the child of preschool age.Is play the leading form of activity for a child of this age, or is it simplythe most frequently encountered form?It seems to me that from the point of view of development, play is notthe predominant form of activity, but is, in a certain sense, the leadingsource of development in preschool years. Let us now consider theproblem of play itself. We know that a definition of play based on thepleasure it gives the child is not correct for two reasons – first,because we deal with a number of activities that give the child muchkeener experiences of pleasure than play.For example, the pleasure principle applies equally well to the suckingprocess, in that the child derives functional pleasure from sucking apacifier even when he is not being satiated.On the other hand, we know of games in which the activity itself doesnot afford pleasure – games that predominate at the end of thepreschool and the beginning of school age and that give pleasure onlyif the child finds the result interesting. These include, for example,sporting games (not just athletic sports but also games with anoutcome, games with results). They are very often accompanied by akeen sense of displeasure when the outcome is unfavorable to thechild.
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Thus, defining play on the basis of pleasure can certainly not beregarded as correct.Nonetheless, it seems to me that to refuse to approach the problem of play from the standpoint of fulfillment of the child’s needs, hisincentives to act, and his affective aspirations would result in a terribleintellectualization of play. The trouble with a number of theories of play lies in their tendency to intellectualize the problem.I am inclined to give an even more general meaning to the problem;and I think that the mistake of many accepted theories is theirdisregard of the child’s needs – taken in the broadest sense, frominclinations to interests, as needs of an intellectual nature – or, morebriefly, disregard of everything that can come under the category of incentives and motives for action. We often describe a child’sdevelopment as the development of his intellectual functions, i.e.,every child stands before us as a theoretical being who, according tothe higher or lower level of his intellectual development, moves fromone age period to another.Without a consideration of the child’s needs, inclinations, incentives,and motives to act – as research has demonstrated – there will neverbe any advance from one stage to the next. I think that an analysis of play should start with an examination of these particular aspects.It seems that every advance from one age period to another isconnected with an abrupt change in motives and incentives to act.
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I think play is very important for children. So is honoring the children in our lives that have passed away. Jewelry for ashes http://www.jewelrykeepsakes.com/Jewel... provides parents with a beautiful accessory to hold ashes.
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