To the Editor:
“Do not, then, my friend, keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.” Plato wrote this in The Republic. Who would have thought Plato would have come up with a statement as bold as this?
In our society—with its testing, scope and sequence, and standards—play is the one standard missing from schools. As an educator, I never realized how important this was until I became a mom.
What happened to a great man’s philosophy? I believe many teachers need to be able to incorporate play into their day just a little more. It may make their classrooms a happier place.
The writer taught and coached literacy in public schools for 13 years and is now a substitute teacher in several districts.
A version of this article appeared in the October 16, 2013 edition of Education Week as Plato Would Have Agreed That Play Is Schools’ Missing Standard