Play is how children explore, discover, fail, succeed, socialize, and flourish. It is a fundamental element of the human condition. It's the key to giving schoolchildren skills they need to succeed—skills like creativity, innovation, teamwork, focus, resilience, expressiveness, empathy, concentration, and executive function. Expert organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Centers for Disease Control agree that play and physical activity are critical foundations of childhood, academics, and future skills—yet politicians are destroying play in childhood education and replacing it with standardization, stress, and forcible physical restraint, which are damaging to learning and corrosive to society.
But this is not the case for hundreds of thousands of lucky children who are enjoying the power of play in schools in China, Texas, Oklahoma, Long Island, Scotland, and in the entire nation of Finland. In Let the Children Play, Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish educator and scholar, and Fulbright Scholar William Doyle make the case for helping schools and children thrive by unleashing the power of play and giving more physical and intellectual play to all schoolchildren.
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