How important is it to play?
Professor Rose Neubauer, Educator and Former Secretary of Education for the City of São Paulo, Brazil, is our advisor and very close friend. Professor Neubauer compares essential elements found in the PeKi Experience to the academic work of Professor Constance Kamii who explores the relationship between mathematical thinking / problem solving and social interaction / play.
Based on years of research in the field of child developmental psychology, Professor Kamii advocates the importance of playing in the cognitive and social development of children. We agree with Professor Kamii in that the joy of playing opens the mind to deep and long lasting learning rather than temporary memorization which is quickly forgotten.
Professor Kamii, received her Ph.D. in education and psychology from the University of Michigan and is now a professor of early childhood education at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Professor Kamii studied under Swiss development psychologist, Jean Piaget, the pioneer of constructiveness theory of knowing, and worked closely with teachers in the United States to develop practical methods to implement Piaget’s theories in the classroom. The outcome of this classroom research is documented in Physical Knowledge in Preschool Education and Group Games in Early Education, which Kamii wrote together with Rheta DeVries, among many other publications.
Another important friend of PeKi is Zaniac, a program that engages, motivates and excites children about STEM through game-based learning. We share the same values and work hard to show kids a very bright side of playing and learning.