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Early childhood education and the importance of play in the development of children between 1 to 6 years case study Gashua in Yobe state.

Abstract

This study was on Early childhood education and the importance of play in the development of children between 1 to 6 years case study Gashua in Yobe state.  The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected nursery schools, Gashua in Yobe state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made head teachers, class teachers, senior staffs and junior officers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.

Chapter one

Introduction

  • Background of the study

for children’s development and for children to bond. It offers a chance to connect with your child. You are your child’s first teacher and much of that teaching happens through play. Play helps your child learn the rules of your family and what is expected of him or her. As children grow, play helps them learn how to act in society. Parents need to make time to play with their children. You start to play when your child is an infant. When your baby starts to smile and you smile back, you are engaging in play. Play is directed by the child and the rewards come from within the child. Play is enjoyable and spontaneous. Play helps your child learn social and motor skills and cognitive thinking. Children also learn by playing with others. You provide the setting for your child to play with others. As your children grow, you provide toys, materials, and sports equipment so that they can play with others. It is important that children learn that play is important throughout life.( https://www.ronniespreschool.com)

Play helps children weave together all the elements of life as they experience it. It allows them to digest life and make it their own. It is an outlet for the fullness of their creativity, and it is an absolutely critical part of their childhood. With creative play, children blossom and flourish, without it, they suffer a serious decline. I am hardly the first to note this fact. The central importance of creative play in childrenʼs healthy development is well supported by decades of research. And yet, childrenʼs play, in the creative, open-ended sense in which I use the term, is now seriously endangered. The demise of play will certainly have serious consequences for children and for the future of childhood itself.

Play is an essential part of early childhood development. Play contributes to cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of young children. Allowing children time to play provides an opportunity for parents to engage with their child. Unfortunately, due to family’s hectic lifestyles, young children are experiencing a reduction in the amount of playtime allowed. According to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, play should be a daily occurrence and is right for every child. Many children are being raised in an increasingly hurried and high-pressure lifestyle that limits child-driven play. Every child deserves the opportunity to develop to their own unique potential, and the opportunity to play is an integral role in reaching that potential (Ginsburg, 2007)

Children, who are provided opportunities to play, tend to use their creativity while continuing to develop their imagination, dexterity, as well as physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is essential to brain development. It is through play that children begin to engage and interact with the world around them, while being able to create and explore the world they are able to master and conquer their fears (Ginsburg, 2007). As children begin to master the world around them, they begin to develop new competencies that can lead to enhanced confidence and resiliencies that they will need to face future challenges (Ginsburg, 2007). When young children have the opportunity for undirected play, this opportunity allows children to learn how to work in a group together, to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, and learn self-advocacy skills (Ginsburg, 2007). When the play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest and are able to ultimately engage fully in the passions of their choice. “Perhaps above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood” (Ginsburg, 2007, p. 183). Play also helps young children build active, healthy bodies and lifestyles.

According to Johnson, Christie, and Wardle (2005), historically play and education have been interconnected especially from the period of enlightenment from the nineteenth century which will be explored further in chapter two. Play’s critical influence to children’s learning and development has been an essential practice in early childhood education. I believe that a play-based curriculum is the ideal practice for children. in an educational setting. From my personal experiences, l believe that play is developmentally appropriate for children within an early childhood curriculum. In observing children, I. found that children learn through their play and it is the style in which they prefer to learn. Therefore, if play is what is appropriate, and it is what children are hoping to partake in, then a play based curriculum is what l believe is needed. For the purpose of this review; I use Armstrong’s (2011) definition of play that refers to play as a changing” process that is multisensocy, interactive, creative, and imaginative.” (p2).

Statement of the study

For this study, I explored the subject of play within the early childhood education and development. The purposes of this study review were to: a) gain a more complete understanding of the functions of play in the early childhood setting; b) emphasize the importance of play for children’s intellectual, emotional and social growth; and c) analyze a body of knowledge of developmental and cognitive theories pertaining to play in order to establish a basis for making decisions regarding the place of play in early childhood environments.

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain the functions of play in the early childhood education
  2. To ascertain the importance of play for children’s intellectual, emotional and social growth
  3. To as ascertain the body of knowledge of developmental and cognitive theories pertaining to play in early childhood education

Research hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0there are no functions of play in the early childhood education

H1: there are functions of play in the early childhood education

H02:  there is no importance of play for children’s intellectual, emotional and social growth

H2: there is importance of play for children’s intellectual, emotional and social growth

Significance of the study

 The study will be very significant to students, ministry of education, teachers, policy makers and parents. The study will give a clear insight on early childhood education and the importance of play in the development of children between 1 to 6 years. The study will enlighten on the function of play on child early education. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on the related topic

Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study covers Early childhood education and the importance of play in the development of children between 1 to 6 years. In the course of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
    • DEFINITION OF TERMS

Early child education: Early childhood education (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education theory that relates to the teaching of children (formally and informally) from birth up to the age of eight.  ECE is also a professional designation earned through a post-secondary education program.

Play: Play is a range of intrinsically motivated activities done for recreational pleasure and enjoyment. Play is commonly associated with children and juvenile-level activities, but play occurs at any life stage, and among other higher-functioning animals as well, most notably mammals

Child development: Child development refers to the sequence of physical, language, thought and emotional changes that occur in a child from birth to the beginning of adulthood. During this process a child progresses from dependency on their parents/guardians to increasing independence

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