A Child's Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

The buzz word in education today is accountability. But the federal mandate of "no child left behind" has come to mean curriculums driven by preparation for standardized tests and quantifiable learning results. Even for very young children, unstructured creative time in the classroom is waning as teachers and administrators are under growing pressures to measure school readiness through rote learning and increased homework. In her new book, Vivian Gussin Paley decries this rapid disappearance of creative time and makes the case for the critical role of fantasy play in the psychological, intellectual, and social development of young children.

A Child's Work goes inside classrooms around the globe to explore the stunningly original language of children in their role-playing and storytelling. Drawing from their own words, Paley examines how this natural mode of learning allows children to construct meaning in their worlds, meaning that carries through into their adult lives. Proof that play is the work of children, this compelling and enchanting book will inspire and instruct teachers and parents as well as point to a fundamental misdirection in today's educational programs and strategies.
Read more

About the author

Vivian Gussin Paley, a kindergarten and nursery school teacher for thirty-seven years, primarily at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, has received numerous awards and accolades, including a MacArthur Award and most recently the John Dewey Society's Outstanding Achievement Award. She is the author of eleven books, three of which are published by the University of Chicago Press.
Read more


1 total

Additional Information

University of Chicago Press
Read more
Published on
Sep 15, 2009
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Education / Elementary
Psychology / Developmental / Child
Psychology / General
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Four-year-old Eli plays alone at the shore, inventing dramas out of sand and water. He is Builder, Fireman, Protector, and Scout, overcoming waves and conquering monsters. Enter Marianne and doll, Mother and Baby, eager to redefine Eli as a good father and homesteader. Their separate visions intertwine in a search for a common ground on which howling wolves and butterfly sisters can learn to understand and need one another.

What can the richly imagined, impressively adaptable fantasy world of these children tell us about childhood, development, education, and even life itself? For fifty years, teacher and writer Vivian Gussin Paley has been exploring the imagery, language, and lore of young children, asking the questions they ask of themselves.

In The Boy on the Beach she continues to do so, going deeper into the mystery of play as she follows Eli and Marianne through the kindergarten year, finding more answers and more questions. How does their teacher, Mrs. Olson, manage to honor and utilize the genius of play to create an all-inclusive community in which boys and girls like each other and listen to each other’s stories? Why is Paley’s fellow teacher Yu-ching in Taiwan certain that her children pretend to be kittens in order to become necessary to the group? And why do teachers in London see their childrens’ role-playing as the natural end to loneliness in the school community?

Rich with the words of children and teachers themselves, The Boy on the Beach is vintage Paley, a wise and provocative appreciation of the importance of play and enduring curiosity about the nature of childhood and the imagination.

Lessons from the personal experience and reflections of a therapist. The difficulty and cost of training psychotherapists properly is well known. It is far easier to provide a series of classes while ignoring the more challenging personal components of training. Despite the fact that the therapist's self-insight, emotional maturity, and calm centeredness are critical for successful psychotherapy, rote knowledge and technical skills are the focus of most training programs. As a result, the therapist's personal growth is either marginalized or ignored. The Making of a Therapist counters this trend by offering graduate students and beginning therapists a personal account of this important inner journey.

Cozolino provides a unique look inside the mind and heart of an experienced therapist. Readers will find an exciting and privileged window into the experience of the therapist who, like themselves, is just starting out. In addition, The Making of a Therapist contains the practical advice, common-sense wisdom, and self-disclosure that practicing professionals have found to be the most helpful during their own training.The first part of the book, 'Getting Through Your First Sessions,' takes readers through the often-perilous days and weeks of conducting initial sessions with real clients. Cozolino addresses such basic concerns as: Do I need to be completely healthy myself before I can help others? What do I do if someone comes to me with an issue or problem I can't handle? What should I do if I have trouble listening to my clients? What if a client scares me?The second section of the book, 'Getting to Know Your Clients,' delves into the routine of therapy and the subsequent stages in which you continue to work with clients and help them. In this context, Cozolino presents the notion of the 'good enough' therapist, one who can surrender to his or her own imperfections while still guiding the therapeutic relationship to a positive outcome.

The final section, 'Getting to Know Yourself,' goes to the core of the therapist's relation to him- or herself, addressing such issues as: How to turn your weaknesses into strengths, and how to deal with the complicated issues of pathological caretaking, countertransference, and self-care.Both an excellent introduction to the field as well as a valuable refresher for the experienced clinician, The Making of a Therapist offers readers the tools and insight that make the journey of becoming a therapist a rich and rewarding experience.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.