Social Interaction, Play, and Projects
This chapter presents a constructivist perspective on the importance of social interaction, play, and projects to children’s learning. Chapter 2 gave many examples of how children learn when they are interested and are given choices among authentic activities. Chapter 3 described the three interrelated types of knowledge that children construct: social, physical, and logico-mathematical. This chapter expands on the role of social interaction in the construction of social knowledge and provides examples of how children construct all three types of knowledge within the sociomoral atmosphere of classroom communities. This chapter presents a strong rationale for the value of play in general and in classroom settings in particular. This chapter also discusses project work from a constructivist perspective. In today’s schools with much emphasis on accountability and testing, time for social interaction, play, and projects has been curtailed to children’s detriment. This chapter provides a rationale for the necessity of social interaction, play, and projects in the curriculum. These activities are not only important for children’s development and knowledge construction but are also vital to their health and well being. After reading this chapter, you will have a better understanding of
• how learning occurs through social interaction, play, and projects; • the role of social interaction in the development of interpersonal under-
standing, friendships, and perspective taking; • the value of play in curriculum; • project work from a constructivist perspective; and • how teachers can support social interaction, play, and projects.