Exploring Play: The Importance of Play in Everyday Life

  • Offered by the University of Sheffield
  • May 8, 2017 – June 23, 2017
  • “Play is often seen as the natural and spontaneous activity of childhood. When we say that something is child’s play, we usually mean that it’s easy to accomplish and perhaps does not need much thought or effort. But play is immensely complex, open to many interpretations and certainly not confined to childhood. This course will encourage you to think differently about play. We’ll discuss definitions of play and current debates about how the nature of play changes. Does play help us to learn? Can it prepare young people to be successful in the adult world? Are all forms of play good for us?”
  • Course Overview (What will you achieve?):
    • Describe Brian Sutton-Smith’s seven rhetorics of play
    • Explore the history of toys and games
    • Identify continuity and change in play across centuries
    • Compare play activities across cultures
    • Debate the impact of modern technology on play
    • Investigate where children and teenagers play in  your neighbourhood
    • Discuss the provision and exclusion of play spaces in society
    • Explore the role of emotion and gender in children’s play
    • Evaluate the role of play during times of illness, trauma, or accident
    • Investigate types of play in virtual worlds
    • Summarise the experiences of activists, practitioners and parents in relation to disability and play
    • Demonstrate an understanding of serious play through playful missions
    • Reflect on the relationship between play, creativity and innovation in the workplace
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