Creative Expression and Play in Early Childhood (3rd Edition)

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9780130873088: Creative Expression and Play in Early Childhood (3rd Edition)

This popular book provides novice and experienced early childhood teachers and caregivers with the roles, responsibilities, and strategies that lead to a more child-centered, play-based curriculum—to nurture children's creative expression in all of its forms. It shows how to foster learning and growth by integrating children's creativity and play into the curriculum. The authors treat play and creative expression as the cornerstones of a child-centered classroom through foundational chapters on creativity, play, and the arts. The book also contains three unique chapters on the traditional treatment of creativity and play—assessment, guidance, and families. For teachers, parents, and any other adults involved in the early development of children.

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From the Publisher:

This book shows future and current early childhood teachers how to integrate children's natural creative expression and play into the preschool-primary grade curriculum in a way that fosters learning and growth.

From the Inside Flap:

Preface

As everyone knows, young children have active imaginations and are naturally playful. Ideally, all of the programs that are designed for young children, infancy through age eight, would capitalize on these remarkable assets of the early childhood years. The early childhood educator's knowledge of child development; repertoire of instructional strategies; and personal/professional beliefs, values, and attitudes have major ramifications for young children's creative expression and play If adults who work with young children are too controlling, creativity is undermined and play virtually disappears from early childhood settings. If the adults are too laissez-faire, play behaviors and modes of creative expression get stalled at less mature levels. In the third edition of Creative Expression and Play in Early Childhood, we try to show novice and experienced early childhood teachers and caregivers the roles, responsibilities, and strategies that lead to a more child-centered, play-based curriculum—one that nurtures children's creative expression in all of its forms. Background

This book is an outgrowth of our combined nearly 50 years of teaching college courses on children's creativity and play to early childhood and elementary students at various stages in their careers—students seeking initial licensure or certification, whether they are enrolled in a community college, four-year teacher-preparation program, or fifth-year Professional Development School (PDS)—as well as practitioners who are seeking continuing certification or a master's degree in the field of early childhood. As is the case with many textbooks, we wrote this book because it was the one we wished we had when we first began teaching an early childhood course on children's play and creativity. We discovered that we were both searching for a text that would integrate creative expression and play into the total preschool-primary grades curriculum, a text that would treat play and creativity as fundamental to developmentally appropriate practice.

Our overarching goal in writing this book is to further the professional development of preservice and inservice teachers. We seek to prepare professionals who not only know about children's play and creative expression, but who also know how to provide these experiences and know why children's creative expression and play are so important. With the third edition, our goal remains the same. It has been gratifying to see the book that we conceptualized received enthusiastically by our colleagues in the early childhood profession and to see the book endure for a third rebirth. It has been a privilege as well as a labor of love to be able to revisit our work, to linger over its language, and to craft it into an even better book.

We must confess to some reluctance when our editor, Ann Davis, first suggested that it was time to begin thinking about a third edition. The first edition was published in 1993, and the ink seemed barely dry when we began discussions for the second edition in 1994. Likewise, the second edition was published in 1997, and beginning the work of revising it in 1998 seemed premature, at best. Yet, as we began to draft the revision plan, we were reminded of what a dynamic field early childhood education is. So much had happened that there really was more to say, and we felt that we could say it better and more clearly than previously. We now appreciate Ann's wisdom in nudging us into the second, and now the third, edition of Creative Expression-and Play in Early Childhood. Need

We are aware that many publications exist that use the word creative or play in their titles. It distresses us that some of these "creative activities" books make minimal contributions to teachers' creative growth, much less children's. Instead, they are compilations of "cute" ideas designed to "keep little hands busy." We respect young children's ability to construct their own understandings about their world and to express their ideas in original, inventive ways. We resent the condescending message of materials that presume to give young children patterns to copy, lines to color inside, and activities that are completely initiated and directed by adults. That is why we decided to write a book that would challenge popular misconceptions about creative expression, play, and the arts in early childhood, thereby doing a better job of enabling teachers and caregivers to articulate their child-centered philosophy to families, colleagues, and administrative personnel. Purpose

Above all, in this third edition—as in the previous two—we want to orient both preservice and inservice teachers and caregivers to the delightful world of children's play and creativity so that they can develop a fuller understanding and richer appreciation for these traits that are so much a part of the young child's life. Glir4psing that world is the surest way that we have found to convince early childhood caregivers and teachers of play's rightful place in the curriculum and the enduring significance of creative expression. In teacher preparation, as the old proverb goes, you can give a person a fish and he will eat for a day, or teach that person to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. The first condition leads to dependence, the second to self-sufficiency. Our goal was to produce a textbook that would not stop at "giving" early childhood practitioners ideas, but rather move forward to suggest strategies and activities that would stimulate teachers' original thinking. That way, early childhood educators could learn to play with ideas and see themselves as creative individuals. Even more important, early childhood educators could model these traits for children and learn to facilitate the natural playfulness and creativity that exists in abundance among the very young. Both of us believe that it is crucial to the future of education to prepare prospective and practicing early childhood practitioners to exercise sound professional judgment based on theory, research, and exemplary practice. As a reader, you will be the judge of how close we have come to realizing these aims. Audience

The book is intended as a primary text for early childhood educators who are seeking teacher certification in a four-year college program or for advanced students in a two-year associate's degree program. The book is ideally suited for a course on young children's play and/or creativity. Due to the book's emphasis on the teacher as researcher, Creative Expression and Play in Early Childhood is equally appropriate for practicing caregivers and teachers who are enrolled in a Professional Development School, seeking professional development, participating in an inservice education program, or beginning graduate study. In our travels, we have also found that the message of Creative Expression and Play in Early Childhood is a universal one that communicates well to international groups of professionals who work with young children.

Instructors will find that this is an exceptionally versatile book because it includes an array of text features that can be emphasized for different audiences. Those working with more advanced students may want to stress the theoretical framework and the research articles that are part of every chapter. Those working with early childhood educators who are at the beginning of their careers may want to place greater emphasis on the case study, the interview, and the observation in each chapter in order to build students' storehouse of professional experiences. By offering instructors various features that they can use as assignments and as in-class activities, Creative Expression and Play in Early Childhood lends extensive support to instructors who are themselves at different levels of experience in working with early childhood practitioners. Description of the Book's Contents

The book begins with two chapters that form the foundation for the remaining chapters. Chapter One discusses creativity in young children: how it is defined, how it develops, and what adults can do to foster its growth. Chapter Two examines the crucial role of play in early childhood education: why it is important, how it develops, and what teachers can do to defend the child's right to play.

After establishing this base, the book covers the topics that are traditionally associated with the arts (art, music and movement, creative drama) and topics that are typically covered in a textbook on play (planning and arranging the environment, materials for creative expression and play). We also add two topics that are not typically included in books about creative expression and/or play. The first is a chapter on assessment. It is often the case that "you get what you measure" in educational settings, and early childhood is no exception. We address assessment issues directly because we know that an understanding of performance assessment is essential to the survival of play and creativity in diverse early childhood settings. The second topic that is often ignored in texts dealing with creative expression and play i

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