Beth Ferholt

Beth Ferholt

I am an associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Art Education at Brooklyn College, The City University of New York; and an affiliated faculty member at The Graduate Center in the Urban Education Program, and at Jönköping University in the School of Communication and Education. I have been studying play since shortly after I was born: first as a child player, then as a caregiver of younger family members and neighbors, for a decade as a teacher of young children, and most recently as a parent and a university-based researcher.  I now study, and study through, playworlds (www.helsinki.fi/child): Playworlds are a way of being that is generated when children or elderly people who have dementia, and adults without dementia, combine art (or science) and play, with the development of all participants in mind. I am particularly interested in despair and hope, which I understand to be closely connected to imagination and creativity.  The most recent Brooklyn playworld that I have helped to create, along with my colleagues -- teachers, artists, young children, and imaginary characters -- is the Puppets are Essential Workers Playworld, which took place in kindergarten classes that were not able to meet in person during the 2020-21 school year.

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