• Age-related change in play: insights from a survey of Hudson Valley adults

      Ciraco, Maria R. (2019-12)
      This paper summarizes the findings of a local, unfunded study that analyzed changes in play across generations in the Hudson Valley. Adult participants were surveyed about their childhood play experiences to identify changes, or signs of decline of free play. The decline of free play in the United States has been studied by other professionals to hypothesize its future impact on children. Such research has brought about questions in regards to childhood development and academic success with future generations. Through a short survey, the experimenter examined changes in free play from 1924 to 2001. Changes include the setting of free play, the amount of time allotted for free play, the amount of supervision in play, and the use of electronics in play. The results of this study displays qualitative and quantitative evidence of changes in free play in the Hudson Valley.
    • The benefits of summer camps for youth at risk: a circle of courage framework

      Klee, Allison (2018-05)
      In our ever-growing and fast-paced world, there are fewer and fewer spaces where children are afforded the opportunities to simply play. Schools and other child-centered spaces where children are supposed to be able to engage in self-exploration and creativity are becoming more and more catered to adults (Ginsburg, 2007). Although all children are suffering the consequences, youth at risk suffer at a disproportionate level (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern et al. 2002)... Summer camp is often defined as more than a place where children can go for a certain amount of time, and more so as an intentional community where children obtain skills and benefits in their cognitive, behavioral, physical, social, and emotional development (Povilaitis & Klee 4 Tamminen, 2017). Focusing on youth at risk is especially important in measuring the positive aspects of summer camp as this population faces greater difficulties than youth not at risk. Brendtro et al. 2002 intentionally use the term “youth at risk” to remove blame and shame rhetoric when referring to youth who are impacted by environmental hazards including poverty, substance abuse, and violence. This way, the focus is on their environment and shifts the focus from blaming the individual, to encouraging consideration of the greater social ailments youth may be facing...The Circle of Courage defines belonging, independence, mastery, and generosity as four areas to help youth develop their strengths and identify needs (Brendtro et al. 2002). Through the employment of these quadrants, the Circle of Courage can be used as a tool to identify destructive relationships, climates of futility, learned irresponsibility, and the loss of purpose as factors that prohibit youth from developing strengths in the four areas (Brendtro et al. 2002). This particular framework based on Native American philosophy provides a powerful alternative in the approach to education and youth development, placing youth at risk at the forefront of care.
    • Gross motor development and the implications for learning

      Obergh, Rachel (2019-12)
      The purpose of this thesis is to identify the acquisition of developmentally appropriate gross motor and physical skills and to investigate the effects of incorporating physical activity into the classroom environment. I have explored current and foundational research literature to meet this goal with the intention, and hope that my findings will initiate further discussion and research work in this increasingly important area of development and curriculum for children. As an elementary and middle school student at the Progressive School of Long Island, I became intrigued by the high success rate of the students. I began to look for a common reason and immediately recognized the potential correlation between movement and learning. Every morning at the Progressive School, the entire student body gathered in the gym for a yoga inspired movement period. Throughout the day, movement was encouraged through classroom housekeeping, and running errands. The students also had outdoor recess every day, except in severe weather conditions. We brought boots, hats and gloves and played in the snow, helped rake the leaves and maintained our own garden. Play was so ingrained that we automatically created recess games combining physical and mental challenges.