Humans by their very nature are storytelling creatures, conveying essential meanings about themselves and their worlds through gestures, words, and cadenced utterances. I am an ethnographer, conveying in narrative format what it means to be a new mother (Lactobabe, 1998), to be children and teachers out on the playground (Outdoor Play: Teaching Strategies with Young Children, 2001; Making Sense of Outdoor Play, 2003/4; Children's Experience of Security and Mastery on the Playground, 2008; Sometimes I Ounce on Twigs Because I'm a Meat Eater": Supporting Physically Active Play and Outdoor Learning, 2009), to be finally alone in a busy household (Nightmirror, 2004), to document the subtexts of children's peer play culture through their story dictations (Using Young Children's Story Plays to Assess the Development of Narration, 2004), and to learn in a play-based classroom (Outdoor Play, in Play at the Center of the Curriculum; Children Making Sense: A Curriculum for the Early Years, in press).
I investigate children's peer play culture and the negotiated learning experience between that culture and the teaching culture, especially outdoors and through children's own narratives. Through a collage of participant observations, audio recordings, dreams, and text I also write short stories and poetry, and produce audio story collages (34 Minutes of NYC Sounds, 2002; 20 Minutes of Massachusetts, 2006).
Hi Jane! Welcome to the forum. Your work sounds fascinating and relevant and I'm thrilled you found us. There are many places around the forum where you might make yourself at home and find rich discussions and camaraderie. We have a Natural Teachers Network, a Natural Families Network, and Early Childhood group, a group about Children's Built Environment, and various discussions. Your work makes me think that we might want to foster more discussion around play. A lot of members also share their work and thoughts by blogging. However you choose to, I hope you make yourself at home here and visit often. Cheers!