Recognizing the Power of Play: Misconceptions and Benefits

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Targowska, A. (2008). Recognising the power of play. Every Child, 14 (2), 24-25. Identify the general topic and summarise the main ideas
The article generally discusses the power of play, its misconceptions and its benefits. The benefits discussed range from cognitive, social, emotional, educational and physical, while the characteristics of play are discussed with regard to the general conceptualisation of play by most theorists. Targowska also briefly discusses how play can be used to maximise learning in educational settings, improve curricula and more importantly, the challenges associated with deconstructing preconceived ideas about play and its secondary role when compared to 'real learning'. How the author supports these ideas

Targowska (2008) supports these ideas using research conducted regarding play as well as classical developmental theorists. Mustard (2005), for example, is used to support the idea of the importance of play as he claims that play based learning is one of the best ways for children's learning to develop. Elkind (2001) provides further foundation for the argument in the article, arguing that children with highly schedules routines often suffer from stress and anxiety. Reference is also made to classical developmental theorists, such as Jean Piaget, who advocated the importance of play. Policy is also discussed to support the ideas present, with recent guidelines enforced in Western Australia Department of Education used to support Targowska’s argument. Targowska is able to support the general premise that play can be beneficial but beyond this, the article does not provide extensive evidence to support the specific arguments made (such as the negative impacts of lack of play and the specific benefits of play which are outlined but not demonstrated in previous research). The examples used are not explained in great depth, particularly regarding Western Australian policy, and sometimes not as relevant (as with Elkind, 2001 which...
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