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Course Description:

This four credit advanced level course will cover the complexity and beauty of children’s play and its extension into adult worlds. Students in Human Development, Educational Studies, and Community and Human/ Health Services are likely to find this course addresses both professional and personal interests in the constraints upon, limits to, and manifestations, uses and potential of play in its myriad forms in both childhood and across the life cycle. Distinctions among play, fantasy and reality will be drawn using themes both connecting and discriminating child and adult play. An understanding of play will be shown to be central to pragmatic issues such as learning, developmental assessment, curriculum development, and treatment of a diversity of problems. The primary perspectives covered in the course are: What is Play?; Origins and Manifestations of Play; Development and Assessment of Play: Birth to 8 Years; Play and the Development of the Whole Child; Diversity and Individual Differences in Play; Contexts of Play; Play in Preadolescence and Adolescence; and Play Beyond the Playground. Major theoretical approaches such as those by Dewey, Rousseau, Piaget, Vygotsky, Parton, Sutton-Smith, Winnicott, and others will be explored. Students will come away from this course with a deep appreciation and understanding of the importance of play in the life of a child - and the life of the child within us.

Prerequisites: A lifespan human development course.

NOTE: This course was previously offered as Play, Fantasy and Reality. Students, who completed 284354, cannot take Development and Meaning of Play.

This online course is offered through Online Learning. You can take this as an individual course or as part of an online degree program, with term starts in March, May, September, November and January. View current term offerings and all online courses. Click here to register for online courses.

Other Areas: The Arts | Business, Management & Economics | Community & Human Services | Communications, Humanities & Cultural Studies | Educational Studies | Historical Studies | Human Development | Labor Studies | Nursing | Science, Math & Technology | Social Science
Liberal Study
Upper Level
Credits: 4
Term(s) Offered (Subject to Change) : Spring 1. Spring 2. Summer. Fall 1. Fall 2.

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