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Changing Policy

  • Date Submitted: 03/17/2010 11:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.1 
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Changing Policy.

        “Play stands at the centre of human development, especially in the formative years, but its importance has to be defended by each generation anew, often on different grounds”.
Sturrock, Else and Russel (2004)

As Sturrocks quote states it is important that different generations recognize the significance of play in children’s health and development and there is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of play and its provision throughout history. Consequently the need to provide for better and more play opportunities has begun to filter through into Government policy and has resulted in the introduction of a Play Policy in Northern Ireland.  
  This essay will give a brief historical perspective on the changing nature of childhood and raise the question as to whether a significant change has taken place in childhood that is lived today.   This essay will look at the Play Policy for Northern Ireland and the extent to which this policy has impacted on and acknowledged the value of play in children’s health.

Thomas, N (2000) asks the question “What is Childhood and is it something natural or is it a social construct?”(p5).   He states that the fact that as these are frequently asked questions must indicate that childhood is a contested phenomenon.   Prout and James (1991) also suggest that this question is still at the “heart of current debates” (p1). Philippe Ariès (1979) suggests that conceptions of childhood have varied across the centuries.   But exactly how the conception of childhood has changed historically and how conceptions differ across cultures is a matter of interest. Ariès argued, partly on the evidence of depictions of infants in medieval art (including the baby Jesus), that the medievalist thought of children is that they are "little adults." According to Ariès, the seventeenth century was a significant benchmark in the attitude toward children in European history, and the beginning of modern...

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