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Children like to play. They get all sorts of benefits from playing. They get the most benefit from play when they are in control of what they are doing. Yet there are lots of circumstances today that mean children are not able to control their own play and that's where playwork comes in, where the role of the playworker is to create environments that enable children to take control of their playing. This book aims to explore the similarities, differences and tensions that exist between play and playwork including appropriate definitions and the conflict around the role of the adult. Fraser Brown proposes a play to playwork continuum, where playing can be considered a 'developmental and evolutionary' activity and playwork a 'compensatory' activity. Helpfully structured around the aspects considered by the author as most important for playwork, this book uses 101 fascinating stories of children playing to illuminate a range of play and playwork theories. The rich array of powerful stories - drawn from the casebooks of eminent and experienced playworkers - speak for themselves whilst at the same time triggering theoretical explorations that are interwoven with the stories in each chapter. Mesmerizing, absorbing and original, this is essential reading for playwork students and practitioners, as well as for students and practitioners of early years, childhood, children's health and wellbeing, and children's social care.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 1 Introduction: play and playwork 2 Fun, freedom and flexibility: anything goes 3 The social world of children's play 4 Playful physical activity: challenge, risk and danger 5 Environmental cognitive stimulation 6 Creativity and problem solving 7 Emotional equilibrium: the therapeutic value of play 8 Self realisation, power and control 9 The child's agenda: intervention and adulteration 10 The Colliery Adventure Playground: some personal reflections 11 Therapeutic Playwork Project: extracts from a reflective diary 12 Conclusions: revisiting the concept of compound flexibility Appendix: The Playwork Principles Useful web references Bibliography Index

About the Author

Fraser Brown is Professor at Leeds Beckett University, UK, and Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Playwork. He has substantial practical and research knowledge of playwork and speaks throughout the UK and around the world.

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