Abstract and Keywords
Many theorists and researchers have discussed the importance of play in fostering children’s cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development. Others, however, have stressed that moral development also is affected by play opportunities, especially by play within various types of groups. Play within family groups involving parents and siblings, play with friends at school and during recess, and play in larger settings especially designed for certain types of play (playgrounds, amusement parks) have all been discussed. Moral aspects of play groups within different cultural settings and with players of older ages also have been the focus of study. Thus, there is a long history in developmental psychology of regarding play groups as important for moral development. Yet, play itself has changed as society has changed, and presently play groups also include ones defined by technological and media play environments that have enlarged the possibility of play across cultures. These more recent play group experiences also have implications for the development of moral emotions, behaviors, and reasoning. This chapter discusses these varied aspects of play groups as contexts for moral development.
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