Learning through Play and Imagination: Expanding Perspectives
Both theory and research suggest that children learn through playing, hearing stories, and engaging in imaginative activities of all kinds. But how, exactly, does this process work? Which characteristics of play and imagination best facilitate children’s learning, and why? How do children play, imagine, and learn across developmental time and in different cultural contexts? Which types of activities and interactions are best suited for learning various skills and content?
This special topic meeting addresses these questions and more by fostering interdisciplinary conversations and incorporating diverse viewpoints. The meeting’s primary aim is to encourage dialogue about play and imagination across disciplinary boundaries, specifically drawing on expertise beyond traditional research programs in developmental psychology. Join us to expand perspectives on learning through play and imagination, identify gaps in the literature, and propose evidence-based strategies for how play and imagination can best be used in early education.
Plenary sessions will present new ideas and connect child development to experts in playground design and construction, media creation and production, anthropological studies of children around the world, and play in non-human animals.