A video from Joseph Chilton Pearce where he explains his belief that children can only truly learn through playing and that ‘play can be the most serious undertaking in a child’s life’. He argues that schools often interrupt a child’s true way of learning in order to impose what they believe learning should be.
Joseph states that in education there is something like 3-5% retention of information learnt in the first few years of a child’s life, however if something is truly experienced with all parts of the child’s being (as in imagination and play) then there is 95% retention.
“That which is learnt in a state of play is literally built in as a permanent neural pathway in the brain”
So play is ‘becoming’ rather than about learning facts. Play or lack of it can define who we are as people. Children who have good play experiences have greater choices in life as “play lays the foundations for all later forms of intelligence”. As we open we explore the outer world and are able to build and imagine a world within, a safe place in which to try out thoughts and ideas, the world is open to us. Children who have their play experiences thwarted are more likely to struggle with their confidence and be less secure in the world, perhaps left reacting to any circumstances they find themselves in yet feeling powerless to do anything but lash out at the things that seem to be causing it.