Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Nedra Robinson

Second Reader

Frances Hancock


early childhood education, child development, play-based learning


The notion that children learn best when they learn through play stimulates much controversy in the field of early education. Overwhelming research produced by important psychological theorists such as Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and David Elkind offer strong indications that this developmentally appropriate approach to learning provides children with the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills they need throughout their lives. On the other hand educators continue to thrush the idea that a teacher directed academic approach to learning yields the best results in children's achievement. This project defines the meaning of play and all that play encompasses in order to establish just how vital play is in the lives of young children. Hands on materials are also provided that exemplify how comprehensive and how relevant the Learn through Play curriculum is in order for children to develop the skills they need throughout their lives.


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