How do we help teachers deepen their understanding of the importance of play? How do we strengthen teachers' ability to skillfully and intentionally guide children's learning through play? When teachers engage in creative, open-ended play experiences, they learn firsthand the power of play. They also become more knowledgeable about the purposeful use of materials and intentional teaching strategies they can use to help children engage in open-ended play.
From Play to Practice describes how and why play is important. The play workshop experiences for educators that are outlined in the book help teachers understand and promote play-based learning as part of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs. Journal reflections of play participants, along with photos from play workshops, illustrate the power of play to change professional and personal lives.
Marcia L. Nell, PhD, is an assistant professor at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, USA where she teaches graduate and undergraduate early childhood education courses and supervises student teachers. Marcia taught in public schools for 25 years. Her research interests include play and creativity across the life cycle, with an emphasis on the benefits of using self-active play with older adults with and without Alzheimer's disease. She also conducts research on the benefits of the Professional Development School model for teacher training, increasing parent involvement in education, and other aspects of teacher preparation program.