Compound Felxibility

Topics: Natural environment, Environment, Environmentalism Pages: 2 (369 words) Published: January 13, 2012
Fraser Brown’s theory of Combined Flexibility outlines the relevance of loose parts to the play experiences of the child, and the development through successful exploration and manipulation of the environment, of self-esteem and flexibility. Brown notes that flexibility in the child – as exemplified perhaps in her/his ability to problem-solve is directly affected by and directly affects the relationship between the child and the environment.

Brown goes on to note that

“…..Many children have no access to a garden (let alone the beach) their streets are full of cars; school playgrounds are usually flat, sterile areas of concrete which offer no interest or little opportunity for interaction.”

The consequences of this according to his theory of Compound Flexibility is that children who have little control over the world inevitably have fewer positive experiences, which in turn slows the development of their self confidence.

Loose-parts theory has also been referred to by Bob Hughes in his elucidation of play and the sorts of environments needed to facilitate different types of play e.g. object and mastery play. More generally he writes –

“Loose parts refer to the recognised need for play environments to contain any number and combination of loose materials, which children can move around, manipulate, use as props and use to change the environment. They are a formidable ingredient for enabling children to engage in play.”

Indeed the theory of loose=parts has come to be incorporated into quality assurance schemes for play provision – as devised by Hughes for Play Wales and Conway and Farley’s Quality in Play.

In the Introduction to this Quality Assurance Portfolio they note that

“Sand and water play, modelling and using a variety of media, use of scrap materials, dressing up boxes, camp and den building and so on are familiar examples of the use of loose parts in play provision…… But the child’s need to explore the natural elements and the...
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