Signs, meaning and embodiment

Learning and pedagogy in the early years

Authored by: Julie Dunn , Susan Wright

The Routledge International Handbook of the Arts and Education

Print publication date:  November  2014
Online publication date:  November  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415839211
eBook ISBN: 9781315742717
Adobe ISBN: 9781317586951


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In a recent article within the International Journal of Play, Grindheim & Odegarrd (2013) note that the longstanding Scandinavian tradition of play being interwoven with learning is increasingly being replaced by a dominance of adult-planned activities. The authors suggest that a sophisticated argument needs to be elaborated to create a well-conceptualised rationale for the contribution that play makes to learning in early childhood education. We concur, and further argue that a similar discussion of the role of arts education in early childhood, and opportunities for children to participate in experiences that support aesthetic development, also needs to be articulated. Yet, arguments offered in defence of play and quality arts education are often fragmented, lacking a clear and coherent conceptual underpinning or are restricted to appeals of entitlement. As such, they are all too easily dismissed.

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