Tentative Course Outline:

See also: Discussion Section Outline

Introduction          Click on blue titles for lecture notes     Updated: January 15, 2007

Lecture 1

Play: More Than Just Fun and Games
(Assignment: “Why Play = Learning: A Challenge for Parents and Educators”/Golinkoff, Hirsh-Pasek, and Singer; “Why Grudman was so keen”/Nelson and Cohen; In the News - “Inside the Teen Brain”; Optional: “Meeting the 'Chocolate Slaves”/Hawksley; In the News - “The Parent Trap”)

Lecture 2 Play Theories
(Assignment: “Nature and Significance of Play as a Cultural Phenomenon”/Huizinga; Optional: In the News - “Enjoy the video game? Then join the Army”)
Lecture 3 The Sexual Selection Theory of Play
Lecture 4 Animal Emotions and Animal Play
(Assignment: “Social Play Behavior: Cooperation, Fairness, Trust, and the Evolution of Morality”/Bekoff; “Play’s the Thing”/Furlow)
Lecture 5

Play and Its Relationship to Violence and Genius
(Assignment: “Play as an Organizing Principle: Clinical Evidence and Personal Observations”/Brown; Endangered Species: Play and Creativity, Consuming Kids, Chapter 4 –/Linn)

Lecture 6

Utopian Visions and B.F. Skinner 
(“A Well-being Manifesto for a Flourishing Society”)

Lecture 7 Discovering Walden Two
Lecture 8
The Making of Things
(Assignment: “The Extravagant Gesture: Nature, Design, and Transformation of Human Industry”/McDonough and Braungart; Optional: In the News - "Building in Green" )
Lecture/ film 9 The Search for Meaning
(Optional: “In the Beginning: Missing Pages in Our Photo Album of the Infant Universe”/Loeb)
Lecture 10
School of Rock:
John Lennon’s Search for Meaning
(1980 Playboy interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono)

Lecture 11

Waiting for the Weekend
(Assignment: Waiting for the Weekend, Chapter 5/Rybczynski; Optional:The Overworked American, Chapter 2/Schor “Bring Back the Sabbath”/Shulevitz)

Leisure Theory #1/Compensation and Spillover

Lecture 12

Branded Nation
(Assignment: On Advertising: Sut Jhally vs. James Twitchell)

Leisure Theory #2/Iso-Ahola's Pyramid
(Assignment: "Leisure Needs and Motives"/Iso-Ahola; In the News - "TV found to be a painkiller for children")

Lecture 13

Exploiting Our Children
(Assignment: Consuming Kids, Chapter 5 – Students for Sale: Who Profits from Marketing in Schools?/Linn "Little Spenders"/People;
Optional: Consuming Kids, Chapter 6 – Through Thick and Thin: The Weighty Problem of Food Marketing/Linn)

Lecture 14


Hectic Families and Stagnant Happiness
(Assignment: “A Theory of Human Motivation”/Maslow; Take Back Your Time, Chapter 5 – Overscheduled Kids, Underconnected Families/de Graaf; “We're Not in the Mood”/Newsweek; Optional: “Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation”/Fitzsimmons; In the News - “Study: 25% of Americans Have No One to Confide In”; In the News - “19 Minutes – How Long Working Parents Give Their Children”)

Leisure Theory #3/Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow ( Second Wind: The Memoirs of an Opinionated Man/Russell)

Lecture 15

Growing Old Is Not For Sissies, show The Checker King film
The Checker King
must be completed

Final Exam