Play is crucial in child development, educational growth, and brain development, according to current research. But academics continue to crowd out play within primary grades, with negative results for children. Dr. Dorothy Sluss, professor of elementary and early childhood education at James Madison University, and Dr. Olga Jarrett, professor in the College of Education at Georgia State, and study and teach about play. Along with colleagues they are presenting research and tools at the National Association for Education of Young Children conference, being held in the nation’s capital.

Dr. Sluss joins the Education Town Hall on We Act Radio this week to share an overview of their work; Dr. Jarrett is invited but not confirmed. Tune in at 11:00 a.m. (eastern) on November 21 to learn more about the serious topic of play. (See also the International Play Association/USA.)


Olga Jarrett (invited): Bio from Georgia State’s website
Dr. Jarrett teaches science methods in the Early Childhood Education’s
Urban Alternative Preparation Program. She is a University Fellow in the Urban Atlanta Coalition Compact, an Annenberg funded project whose purpose is excellence in education for African American students. She also serves as a project coordinator of Project DOVE (Drop-out, Violence Elimination), a systematic prevention/intervention program which includes mentoring and a curriculum on empathy, impulse control, and bully prevention. Dr. Jarrett’s research has focused on recess and playground behavior, bully prevention, effective teaching in urban schools, and effective methods of teaching science (pre-k to fifth grade). Her most recent research was published in School Science and Mathematics, and The Journal of Educational Research.

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Dorothy Sluss: Bio from James Madison University website
Dr. Dorothy Sluss spent fourteen years teaching young children in the public schools of Virginia. After completing her graduate studies at Virginia Tech, she spent the next decade providing professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers in a variety of roles and settings. She has authored numerous articles and published three books including, Supporting Play: Birth to Age Eight, and Investigating Play in the Twenty-First Century, and Supporting Play: Curriculum, Environments, and Assessment. She is Past President of The Association for the Study of Play, and recipient of the Brian Sutton Smith Award for Lifetime Achievements in play research. She serves as a board member of the International Play Association, and is President of the Association of Teacher Educators in Virginia. When she is not teaching, she enjoys sewing, reading, music, and her family.

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