The Play's the Thing: Teachers' Roles in Children's Play by Elizabeth Jones
The traditional role for teachers in children's play was to structure it, setting rules and interrupting if things got "out of hand". However, for children three to five, sociodramatic play is a way to invent and make familiar the rhythms and actions of everyday life. This text describes why play is a fundamentally important part of children's development and shows how adults can support and promote play. The authors offer systematic descriptions and analyses of the different roles a teacher adopts toward this end - including those of stage manager, mediator, player, scribe, assessor, communicator, and planner - and describe both highly interactive and inhibited children from different economic backgrounds. The authors integrate cognitive and psycho-dynamic theory as well, regarding the scripts children play in both cognitive and affective terms, and they discuss the importance of fantasy and reality play themes, demonstrating the implications of play for literacy learning.