Aggressive behaviour, more often observed in young boys, is a relatively common factor of sociodramatic play recognised in literature to be beneficial for child development. While educators are often uncomfortable with this form of play, it may be argued that the omission of aggressive play in early childhood programs fosters the underdevelopment of social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and communicative abilities in young children. This is particularly relevant for preschool-aged boys because they engage in aggressive sociodramatic play more often than girls. Without a full understanding of the distinct differences between serious and symbolic aggression educational practice and policy typically ban all forms of aggressive behaviour. This presentation aims to: a) define serious aggression and playful aggression, b) conceptualise the importance of various forms of aggressive sociodramatic play in child development, and c) implement strategies to support aggressive sociodramatic play in indoor and outdoor environments. Early childhood educators will gain specific strategies to manage aggressive play (i.e., superhero play, play fighting, and rough-and-tumble play) as it relates to space, supervision, accessories, group size, and rules. This presentation provides educators a foundation for including playful aggressive opportunities that will afford young children - particularly young boys - valuable experiences for their growth and development.
3rd International Conference on Leadership in Pedagogies and Learning Conference: The power of building personal capacity - reigniting your energy, fire and mojo!, Toowong, Australia 25-26 September 2015