Banning “You Can’t Play”

And just in case you are wondering what happens when you ban exclusion practices, listen to this excerpt from This American Life in which a kindergarten teacher talks about what happened in her classroom when she banned exclusionary play. 

This American Life (8/21/09)  for Act Three go to minute 47 of the episode…

Act Three. Human Nature, The View from Kindergarten.
Author and kindergarten teacher (and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient) Vivian Paley tells the story of an experiment she conducted in her classroom to make children less cruel to each other. She instituted a rule: “You can’t say ‘You can’t play.'” In other words, if two children are playing, and a third child comes over and wants to join them, they can’t tell him or her to get lost. They can’t reject him or her. This is the cause of unending pain in most classrooms and playgrounds. The experiment was a remarkable and immediate success. (12 minutes)

Read more about the experiences of kindergarten teacher and author Vivian Paley in the book, You Can’t Say You Can’t Play.


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