Chart of Goal Directed Behavior and Goal Directed Play
This is the chart that is referred to in the Live Lecture on Self-Regulation and the Developing Brain. It illustrates that high level constructive and dramatic play can teach the same or similar executive skills and processes (self-regulation) that are present in goal directed behavior, and which are common in adults. Because young children cannot separate out different elements of themselves, but behave holistically (emotionally, socially, cognitively, linguistically, physically), high level play is one of the most effective ways to develop self-regulation skills. Play, with other children in particular, works on all areas of self-regulation in a focused, theme or goal driven episode. To be most effective, children need to have enough time to get through all the "steps" in goal directed play. Having older preschoolers compose, create, and perform a "play" can be an especially effective method of goal directed play that has measurable positive impacts on children's development.
Goal Directed Behavior
1. Form goals and objectives
2. Devise plans of action required to attain these goals
3. Select the cognitive skills required to implement the plans
4. Coordinate these skills.
5. Apply the skills in the correct order.
6. Evaluate your actions as success or failure relative to your intentions.
Source: Goldberg, Elkhonon. The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Kathy A. Bobula, Ph.D.
Goal Directed Play
1. Decide what you want to do or play
2. Decide how you will play this and with whom
3. What do you know that applies to this? Figure out what you’ll need and what you’ll have to do to it or with it, and what the people will do.
4. Start to organize and set it up.
5. Play in a way that supports or fits with the theme or game.
6. Sustain the play in accord with the intent.
Have it end early due to it not coming together as intended.