Play is endemic to the human species promoting a mental state of happiness. Purely, we feel good when we choose what we want to do! Children and adults alike make sense of their world through various types of play and watching this is one of the most fascinating things in life.If you look closely, children tell us their understanding of the world and how they fit into it through their play activity.What about when children's play seems repetitive or inappropriate? What is our role as the adult? We have all seen the child who throws toys across the room with no warning or the entire contents of ‘homecorner’ being transported to ‘block area’.
A closer look at these urges or 'schemata' (Piaget, 1926) can help us to understand the motivation behind children's play and behaviour and add another tool to draw from the repertoire of intentional teaching techniques we employ.You will learn to:
- Define the theory of schema and understand its place in early childhood theory
- Identify types of schema displayed in children's behaviour birth - 8 years
- Select appropriate observation techniques to look for schematic behaviours
- Use observations to apply schema to planning and programming and intentional teaching
- How to use the schema theory to advocate for play-based curriculum

Schema in Early Childhood

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