Play is a critical part of early learning, Nagle says


Geoffrey A. Nagle, Ph.D.

In a recent Education Week profile about a North Carolina school district administrator, Geoffrey A. Nagle, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Erikson Institute, lends an expert perspective about one of the district’s key initiatives: Bringing play into kindergarten classrooms.

“Play builds the foundation that children need for their cognitive development, self-control, ability to pay attention, problem-solve, and think critically,” Dr. Nagle says.

His comments support the North Carolina district’s efforts to incorporate play-based learning into kindergarten classrooms in order to help children learn more and retain knowledge. Activities such as operating play kitchens and building with blocks can help children understand concepts from cooperation to math to engineering.

“Right now, we, the adults, are too focused on early-literacy instruction and measuring outcomes with test scores, all at the expense of play,” says Nagle.

EDUCATION WEEK: In N.C. District, Leader Brings Play Back to Kindergarten