the power of play雅思阅读原文译文
The power of play
Virtually every child, the world over, plays. The drive to play is so intense that children will do so in any circumstances, for instance when they have no real toys, or when parents do not actively encourage the behavior. In the eyes of a young child, running, pretending, and building are fun. Researchers and educators know that these playful activities benefit the development of the whole child across social, cognitive, physical, and emotional domains. Indeed, play is such an instrumental component to healthy child development that the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (1989) recognized play as a fundamental right of every child.
Yet, while experts continue to expound a powerful argument for the importance of play in children’s lives, the actual time children spend playing continues to decrease. Today, children play eight hours less each week than their counterparts did two decades ago (Elkind 2008). Under pressure of rising academic standards, play is being replaced by test preparation in kindergartens and grade schools, and parents who aim to give their preschoolers a leg up are led to believe that flashcards and educational ‘toys’ are the path to success. Our society has created a false dichotomy between play and learning.
Through play, children learn to regulate their behavior, lay the foundations for later learning in science and mathematics, figure out the complex negotiations of social relationships, build a repertoire of creative problem-solving skills, and so much more. There is also an important role for adults in guiding children through playful learning opportunities.
Full consensus on a formal definition of play continues to elude the researchers and theorists who study it. Definitions range from discrete descriptions of various types of play such as physical, construction, language, or symbolic play (Miller & Almon 2009), to lists of broad criteria, based on observations and attitudes, that are meant to capture the essence of all play behaviors (e.g. Rubin et al. 1983).
研究游戏的学者和理论家依然没有就游戏的正式定义达成完全一致的意见。这些定义从对各种游戏类型的独立描述，例如感觉运动、结构性、语言或象征性游戏(Miller&Almon 2009)，到基于观察和态度的一系列宽泛标准，这些标准旨在抓住一切游戏行为的本质(如Rubin et al. 1983)。
A majority of the contemporary definitions of play focus on several key criteria. The founder of the National Institute for Play, Stuart Brown, has described play as ‘anything that spontaneously is done for its own sake’. More specifically, he says it ‘appears purposeless, produces pleasure and joy, [and] leads one to the next stage of mastery’ (as quoted in Tippett 2008). Similarly, Miller and Almon (2009) say that play includes ‘activities that are freely chosen and directed by children and arise from intrinsic motivation’. Often, play is defined along a continuum as more or less playful using the following set of behavioral and dispositional criteria (e.g. Rubin et al. 1983):
当前多数有关游戏的定义都集中在一些核心标准上。国家游戏协会的建立者Stuart Brown，将游戏描述为“只为其本身考虑的、自发进行的行为”。更具体地来说，他认为游戏“没有目的，产生快乐和愉悦，(并)引导一个人进入下一个掌握能力的阶段”(引用自Tippett 2008)。类似地，Miller和Almon(2009)认为游戏包括“由儿童自由选择和进行并由内在动机所引起的活动”。通常，游戏的定义伴随着一个有关游戏程度的连续体，并使用下面这一套“行为和意向的标准”(如Rubin et al 1983):
Play is pleasurable: Children must enjoy the activity or it is not play. It is intrinsically motivated: Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behavior itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal. Play is process oriented: When children play, the means are more important than the ends. It is freely chosen, spontaneous and voluntary. If a child is pressured, they will likely not think of the activity as play. Play is actively engaged: Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity. Play is non-literal. It involves make-believe.
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