In A Moral Case for Play: The Urgency of Advancing Moral Ecologies of Play in K-12 Schools, Levingston argues that schools must make room for character-building play because of its essential role in moral development. He utilizes field-based research, including interviews and observations from hallways, classrooms, playgrounds and lunchrooms at Catholic, Jewish, Progressive, Quaker, single-gender, and other non-sectarian schools. Levingston's timely new insights and explanations of the moral ecologies of play build on and intersect with the work of anthropologists, fellow educators and education-researchers, folklorists, medical researchers, psychologists, and STEAM educators. This book demonstrates that beyond physical and social play at recess, students need to engage in role-playing, along with language, number, kinesthetic, and imaginative play. Offering a new definition of play, Levingston's research shows how schools can create unique ecologies that promote moral growth, creativity, and a sense of community in any academic program.
Rabbi Judd Kruger Levingston is Director of Jewish Studies and Advisor to the Derech Eretz Honor Council at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy.
Chapter 1: Play, Moral Education and Character Education
Chapter 2: Recess Is Over, But Don’t Stop Playing! Research Methodology, Research Sites, and Three Moral Ecologies of Play
Chapter 3: How Can I Catch the Kids’ Attention? Conceding, Cautious, and Complementary Uses of Play in Class
Chapter 4: What Brings the Curriculum to Life and What Makes it Relevant?
Chapter 5: Character-Building and Character-Driven Play
Chapter 6: Co-Curricular Play: Religious spaces, electives, physical education, advisory and disciplinary systems
Chapter 7: Recess and Shared Moral Spaces; Dress and Gender
Chapter 8: From Playing to Belonging: The Essential Role of Schools in Setting the Stage
Appendix: Questions for Discussion
About the Author