Friday, February 23, 2007

Schema fascination.

I've been writing an article for the Playcentre Journal about schemas and transitions (and Hazel cutting stuff up). This is some more thinking around it.

At my Playcentre we use schema learning theory to help us deliver Te Whaariki (the New Zealand Early Childhood curriculum).

Other people say that schemas are repeated themes in children's thinking and patterns of behaviour. I think they are a useful framework we can use to consider the consuming passions of children. This Schema Matrix I had published in the Playcentre Journal a few years ago will give you the right sort of idea and what's more lots of people find it useful in practice.

Children are utterly passionate about their schemas, this makes schemas very useful when dealing with children. Children like people who share their schemas. On session, a free-play environment combined with the children's abiding schema interests provide a lot of continuity for us. Children think hard about their schema fascinations so they learn a lot from their schemas and they become experts in the areas their schemas lead them into. Children are also easier to redirect within a schema than outside it.

I have noticed that children often seem to express very strong emotions with their schemas, I think someone with a trajectory schema will often throw things when furious or jubilant, while someone with a rotation schema is more likely to turn angrily on a heel or pirouette joyfully.

Things are looking up, night before last Hazel was utterly absorbed in dissolving toilet paper in a basin full of soapy water and yesterday morning she was mixing canned plum juice with milk at breakfast (as well as cutting out the lips of people from magazines for her sister). The changing mixtures suggest she might be moving on to processing this major life event as a transformation, which is perfect, and I prefer cleaning up a transforming schema's truly mucky messes to finding my books torn to pieces.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Stephanie said...



8:24 PM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Thanks for the schema matrix - that will be extremely useful, Lucy

8:26 AM  
Blogger Susan Harper said...

It appeared as "Schemas in areas of play" in the Playcentre Journal Issue 121: Spring 2004.
It's under Crown Copyright as Wilton Playcentre was a Centre of Innovation at the time.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

Hiya - I stumbled across this old post of yours - isn't google amazing and I loved it so much I've blogged about it and how great that schema matrix is :) Thanks for sharing this.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog - I will have to try to write an article about passionate play that gives you something new to read!!! I will look out for that new book. Do you have access to a copy of the article you wrote on schemas that you refer to here - I would love to read it. My email is nzteaparty at gmail dot com :)

8:12 PM  
Blogger Gillian aka Silly Gilly said...

I've just read your schema outline and loved it! I can easily slot my daughter into a couple of those and it's fascinating to realise how the other kids in our mum's group fit into different ones too.
Great read, thanks!

11:50 PM  
Blogger wa said...

I have enjoyed shema info since reading about it in a Playcentre Journal and contacting Wilton Playcentre for the info on it. It has really helped me to understand my children's interests and behaviours! I can now cope with these sometimes challenging interests and know how to re-direct it if neccessary. Yay schemas!

3:32 PM  
Blogger Susan Harper said...

By the way, The Princess and the Pirate King by Debi Gliori is a great disconnecting schema tale.

6:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home