Supporting Self-directed Play in Steiner-Waldorf Early Childhood Education
Self-directed play is essential for the young child's learning and development. Yet what is the true nature of such play? How can we learn to observe and understand it? Drawing on research originally conducted in Australia, Renate Long-Breipohl indicates a path that all early childhood educators can travel in their journey towards a deeper understanding of children's play. At the heart of her study is the section on "Types of self-directed play," extensively illustrated with photographs and narrative examples from Waldorf early childhood settings. Early childhood educators are encouraged to become facilitators of self-directed play, to strengthen and protect this activity through which, according to Rudolf Steiner, the child "learns from life" in a unique and irreplaceable way.