The Joy of Learning Through Play
Instructor: Sima Gerber, Ph.D., CCC
WEDNESDAy, JULY 17, 2019
9:00am - 12:00pm
The question of whether to provide children with more time for learning or more time for playing is a frequently debated topic. Parents often wonder how best to maximize their child’s development and educators often question whether time spent playing will lead to the learning outcomes they are addressing. In the most contemporary thinking, the value of play as a catalyst for developmental integration for all children has been taken more seriously as experts worry that play-time is being slowly replaced with more time spent on academics and structured activities.
In play-based interventions, determining and respecting what the child finds meaningful and playful is the first step in energizing the child’s inevitable developmental potential. Once this is understood, promoting the integration of movement, thinking, language, communication, social, and emotional strands of development can be nourished in the moments of playful interactions between adult and child and the child and his peers.
In this workshop, ‘Why’ play, ‘How’ to play, and ‘Who’ to play with will be addressed as we explore how to preserve the spontaneity of play and the role of the play partner. The importance of repetitive and ‘unconventional’ play and the ways to expand the depth and breadth of play will be reviewed with vignettes and videos. Guidelines for understanding a child’s developmental play level will be shared.
Sima Gerber, Ph.D., CCC is a Professor of Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Linguistics and Communication Disorders of Queens College, City University of New York. She has been a speech-language pathologist for over 40 years, specializing in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental challenges.
Dr. Gerber is on the faculty of Profectum Academy and the Advisory Board of the New York Zero-to-Three Network. She has presented nationally and abroad (China, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, Israel, Georgia) on language acquisition and developmental approaches to assessment and intervention for children with language and communication disorders. Recently, she edited an issue of Topics in Language Disorders (2017), titled, The Power of Play and Its Role in Developmental Integration.
Dr. Gerber is the recipient of the award for Outstanding Service to the field of Speech-Language Pathology given by the New York City Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Louis DiCarlo Clinical Achievement Award from the New York State Association. Dr. Gerber has received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.