The benefits of play in young children's lives has been extensively documented an researched. All research highlights the importance of play in the development of social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. Another indication of the significance of play in children's lives is the fact that children themselves are passionate about play. Children can often be observed playing at home, in school and in their communities when they are given the opportunity to choose their own activity.
In play children create stories about their experiences and they experience this as joyful and meaningful. Another reason may be that in play children have opportunities to influence and impact their environment (and therefore experience and develop a sense of agency). During this session, examples from practice will be shared to show how children can be independent in play, make their choices, pretend, express ideas and persevere. These examples will also highlight the many opportunities there are to be creative and curious in play, to learn through trial and error and built and test theories.
Anne van Dam
Anne van Dam, Bachelor of Education, Assistant Principal Primary at the International School of Zug and Luzern.
Education has been my passion for more than 20 years. I have worked alongside children and educators in schools in Rotterdam, Shanghai, Singapore and Switzerland. Since 2000, I have taken on various positions in schools, combining teaching with leadership responsibilities. I used to work at the Canadian International School (Singapore) where I was part of the team that took the school to IB authorization in 2005. I have been an IB workshop leader since 2005, sharing my passion for young children with educators in IB schools. As a PYP visiting team member, I tremendously enjoy supporting schools with the implementation of the IB PYP framework.
I joined EtonHouse International Pre-School in August 2007, drawn to the school for its vision to establish early childhood education centered on young children’s competencies in making meaning and building relationships. At EtonHouse, I combined teaching with the responsibilities of the PYP coordinator. In June 2008, I became the Director of this school.
In August 2011, I moved back to Europe and took on the responsibility of Assistant Principal at the International School of Zug and Luzern. At ISZL, I supported the development of a new vision for the teaching and learning in the early years. This direction places a strong emphasis on relationships, play, learning environments (both inside and outside) and on making teaching and learning visible to others.
A recent move back to the Netherlands has given me the opportunity to work with the PYP development team at the IB regional office in The Hague. I still work for the IB as a workshop leader and workshop developer and collaborate with schools as an independent educational consultant.