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You Can't Say You Can't Play

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You Can't Say You Can't Play Cover

ISBN13: 9780674965904
ISBN10: 0674965906
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Who of us cannot remember the pain and humiliation of being rejected by our classmates? However thick-skinned or immune to such assaults we may become as adults, the memory of those early exclusions is as palpable to each of us today as it is common to human experience. We remember the uncertainty of separating from our home and entering school as strangers and, more than the relief of making friends, we recall the cruel moments of our own isolation as well as those children we knew were destined to remain strangers. In this book Vivian Paley employs a unique strategy to probe the moral dimensions of the classroom. She departs from her previous work by extending her analysis to children through the fifth grade, all the while weaving remarkable fairy tale into her narrative description. Paley introduces a new rule--"You can't say you can't play"--to her kindergarten classroom and solicits the opinions of older children regarding the fairness of such a rule. We hear from those who are rejected as well as those who do the rejecting. One child, objecting to the rule, says, "It will be fairer, but how are we going to have any fun?" Another child defends the principle of classroom bosses as a more benign way of excluding the unwanted. In a brilliant twist, Paley mixes fantasy and reality, and introduces a new voice into the debate: Magpie, a magical bird, who brings lonely people to a place where a full share of the sun is rightfully theirs. Myth and morality begin to proclaim the same message and the schoolhouse will be the crucible in which the new order is tried. A struggle ensues and even the Magpie stories cannot avoid the scrutiny of this merciless pack of social philosophers who will not be easily caught in a morality tale. You Can't Say You Can't Play speaks to some of our most deeply held beliefs. Is exclusivity part of human nature? Can we legislate fairness and still nurture creativity and individuality? Can children be freed from the habit of rejection? These are some of the questions. The answers are to be found in the words of Paley's schoolchildren and in the wisdom of their teacher who respectfully listens to them.

Synopsis:

In this book, Vivian Paley employs a unique strategy to probe the moral dimensions of the classroom. She departs from her previous work by extending her analysis to children through the fifth grade, all the while weaving remarkable fairy tale into her narrative description. Paley introduces a new rule--"You can't say you can't play"--to her kindergarten students and solicits the opinions of older children regarding the fairness of such a rule. We hear from those who are rejected as well as from those who do the rejecting. The struggle that ensues presents a great teacher with her greatest challenge and speaks to some of our most deeply held beliefs.

Synopsis:

In this fascinating look at the moral dimensions of the classroom, MacArthur Prize-winning educator Paley introduces a new rule--"You can't say you can't play"--to her kindergarten students. "Explores how to keep students from being ignored by their classmates".--Publisher's Weekly. Line illustrations.

About the Author

Vivian Gussin Paley, a former kindergarten teacher, is the winner of a MacArthur Award and of the 1998 American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement given by the Before Columbus Foundation.

Table of Contents

  • You Can’t Play: The Habit of Rejection
  • The Inquiry: Is It Fair? Will It Work?
  • The New Order Begins
  • It Is Easier to Open the Door

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

amaebi, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by amaebi)
I love reading Vivian Gussin Paley's books about her work with kindergarten and preschool children-- precisely because she works with them, and provides illuminating, accessible accounts of their cognitive and social dynamics. This book recounts a year's classroom experience with a new rule: children were not allowed to exclude others from play.

The simplicity of motivation for the experiment and the complexity of how it played out-- and how teacher Paley observed and thought about it-- offers insight into children, adults, and societies.

We're too horribly ready to think of rules as simple solutions to social problems without considering that they are, instead, structures people optimizie around in pursuit of their own objectives. Like the uneven bars or pommel horse of a gymnast.

No wonder Paley was made a MacSrthur Fellow.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780674965904
Author:
Paley, Vivian Gussin
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Mass.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Teacher-student relationships
Subject:
Play
Subject:
Kindergarten
Subject:
Social interaction in children
Subject:
General education.
Subject:
Rejection
Subject:
Education-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
103-395
Publication Date:
July 1993
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5 line illustrations
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 6 oz

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Related Subjects

Education » Classroom Resources
Education » General
Education » Teaching » Guides
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General

You Can't Say You Can't Play Used Trade Paper
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Product details 144 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674965904 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this book, Vivian Paley employs a unique strategy to probe the moral dimensions of the classroom. She departs from her previous work by extending her analysis to children through the fifth grade, all the while weaving remarkable fairy tale into her narrative description. Paley introduces a new rule--"You can't say you can't play"--to her kindergarten students and solicits the opinions of older children regarding the fairness of such a rule. We hear from those who are rejected as well as from those who do the rejecting. The struggle that ensues presents a great teacher with her greatest challenge and speaks to some of our most deeply held beliefs.
"Synopsis" by , In this fascinating look at the moral dimensions of the classroom, MacArthur Prize-winning educator Paley introduces a new rule--"You can't say you can't play"--to her kindergarten students. "Explores how to keep students from being ignored by their classmates".--Publisher's Weekly. Line illustrations.
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