The Hurried Child

In 2001, Professor David Elkind wrote in his landmark book: The Hurried Child how today’s rapidly changing world was affecting the fundamental concept of childhood. Endless rising expectations and social change are increasing the stress placed on parents and educators to ensure children are prepared for a competitive and global workplace as soon as possible.

This has resulted in a key component of human development to disappear for the life of a child growing up in the 21st century – the disappearance of play. There is however, a large volume of research that highlights the importance and power of play for all ages.

During the Junior School years, growth, both physical and intellectual, is gradual rather than rapid. We see the same forms of play from early childhood but they are more elaborate, more complex and more socially interconnected. Common games are played with new innovations and as American sociologist, George Herbert Mead, suggests “children learn social responsibility, to relate to each other and to integrate themselves within the social collective.”

Dulwich Pudong Junior School students

Over the holidays, we began work to develop the Junior School playground to provide our students with more opportunities to socialize, challenge themselves and create independence – hopefully to provide ways to grow up slowly in a hurried and fast-paced world.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following Year 7 students and Junior School teachers who led and supported this process for the Junior School students: Allison, Siobhan, Ailsa, Mahek, Ambre, Aditya, Alex, Jiyoon, SriTanvi, Ms. Frolchenko, Ms. Beck, Mrs. Faulkner, Mrs. Crossland and Mrs. Coughlan.

Ms Victoria Foster
Head of Junior School