Introduction to Resilient Playgrounds
A special connection exists between students’ social competence and the playgrounds that schools pro-vide for them. Some of the social success that students experience can be attributed to the physical setting of the playground, the social climate created with their peers, and the caretaking environments that are fostered by school recess practices. Strengthening playground settings can be an important first step toward fostering students’ social success and ultimately their social competence. These, then, are my two overarching goals for this book, Resilient Playgrounds: (a) to provide a conceptual framework for understanding playground contexts and their relation to students’ social success, and (b) to articulate a strategy for assessing playgrounds, identifying features that might disrupt students’ social interactions, intervening to modify these features, and monitoring to ensure that the interventions have led to more successful peer relationships. A central premise of the book is that the social competence of students will be more evident when school playgrounds support strong interpersonal relationships and self-regulated play.