The Theory of Play

The Theory of Play

The Theory of Play

The Theory of Play

Excerpt

At this time, when a profound social upheaval has taken place and the recognition of the need for a new social fabric is apparent, it is particularly fitting that a new book on Play and Recreation should make its appearance. The leisure-time problem has so forced itself upon the attention of every stratum of our society that all educators and civic leaders are faced with the responsibility, not only for meeting the demands of the immediate situation, but also for exercising foresight in social planning for the refinement of future recreational standards and for the improvement of individuals' recreational appreciations. The present book, The Theory of Play, has been written with this larger vision in mind.

In 1923 The Theory of Organized Play byWilbur P. Bowen and Elmer D. Mitchell was published and has been used extensively as a text in colleges and universities since that time. Time changes all things, however, and it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that a new book was needed. The research in the fields of psychology, sociology, and social psychology has led to new emphasis here and there regarding that phase of human conduct called play. The growing and changing philosophy of education has led to new interpretations and resultant tendency toward change in practice. The practical workers in the field of recreation, group work, and physical education have altered and perfected their techniques with the passing of time and the emergence of new philosophies and objectives.

Since the publication of The Theory of Organized Play the death of Professor Bowen has occurred. The present authors first took up their task with the idea of revising the older book, but, as they got more deeply into the work, it became apparent that the book should be rewritten if it were adequately to cover the vast changes that have taken place in the recreational field in the past fifteen years.

The new book is greatly enlarged and brings with it a complete change of emphasis in regard to the psychology of human motivation. The older "instinct" psychology has been modified by explanations which are more in keeping with the newer thought in the fields of scientific research.

In the new treatment, play is considered as an integral and vital part of the general social movement. It is recognized that all our . . .

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