Profile photo of Dr. Josh Thompson (he/him)

Dr. Josh Thompson (he/him)

Professor Early Childhood Education

Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Office Location: EdSouth 204

Office Hours: By appointment

Phone: 903-886-5537


Professional Vita

Play Lab

Social Change Conference sponsored by TAMU-C Office of Intercultural Engagement and Learning

Tuesday, February 20 @ Rayburn Student Center, Commerce 10.45-3.30, Dedication Room

Social Change Conference Schedule 2024

Please take our Exit Survey


Screening of Nature Play film at our Dallas campus, 8750 North Central Expressway, 20th floor, Monday, February 26, 7pm-8.30pm. More info coming soon!


Upcoming Keynote addess by Josh Thompson: PLAYFUL LEARNING: GOOD FOR YOU! (.ppt & .pdf coming soon)

Texas Play and Development Conference

March 23, 2024

Blinn College – Bryan Campus


With grants from Let's Play America andIPA/USA, we are hosting two different events: Community Play Day and Educator Play Lab. .          .

Community Play Day TX meets at Northeast Texas Children's Museum in Commerce, Texas, August 5, September 2, and October 7. Come PLAY - free tickets for teachers and administrators.

Educator Play Lab puts administrators and teachers together in playful learning activities based around open-ended Makerspace type materials and activities. September 16, and Spring 2024.

Play Day Oct 7


Play Conference in Sicily - Study Abroad May Mini 2023

Play conference poster

Faculty-led Study Abroad to participate in an international play conference in 

Erice, Sicily, Italy 

May 12-21, 2023 

Includes 4 nights in Rome

Conference Program .PDF

The purpose of this trip is to lead a study abroad program to Italy for A&M-Commerce students. The program fulfills the goals of our Global QEP and provides students with the opportunity to learn about another part of the world firsthand. This benefits the state of Texas by helping to create a well-educated citizenry that understands other societies.

Estimated Actual Cost of the Trip ~$4,500, includes roundtrip airfare from DFW, ground transportation, housing & accommodations, and most food. Partial Scholarships available

Office of International Program Scholarship

The Office of International Programs welcomes all students who are considering overseas studies to apply to our office-based scholarship. Grants are based upon length of program, but generally do not exceed $1,000 for summer programs and faculty-led programs; $1,500 for programs of longer duration. Apply through this link OIP Scholarship Office.

Global Scholars Scholarship

The Global Scholars Scholarship is awarded to those students who have applied and been accepted as a Global Scholar for the academic year at Texas A&M-Commerce. As a Global Scholar, you can be awarded additional monies that would support a study abroad experience with the Office of International Programs. Global Scholarship Award.

===== ===== ===== ===== =====

Playful Learning Experiences for Teachers

Playful Learning Experiences for Teachers. International Play Association – USA 2022 Annual Conference. University of Incarnate Word. San Antonio, Texas.

Transforming education begins with watching the child, and how she learns through play. Teacher educators promote playful learning, but often in a less than playful manner. The next steps in transforming education require celebrate playful learning experiences for teachers.

Ramps & Pathways

Zan & Geiken. (2010). Ramps & Pathways: Developmentally Appropriate, Intellectually Rigorous, and Fun Physical Science. Young Children 65(1) 12-17.

Caine’s Arcade: Cardboard Challenge

Photo album of teachers celebrating playful learning

Changes in Texas Teacher Certification, Changes in Course Work @ TAMU-Commerce

Loewenstein, M, Sturdivant, T.D., & Thompson, J. (2022). Learning through play in teacher education. Young Children, 77(2) pp. 44-50. .PDF

Thompson, J., & Pearce, N. (2022). A Toolbox for Engaging Children in Play and Creativity for Learning across the Domains. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 50(1), 37-43. .PDF

Geneser, V. (Ed.). (2022). Scholarly snapshots: The importance of child play as a human right. Rowan & Littlefield.

Child Development: Early Years

Theories Influencing Child Development

Language Acquisition & Development

Play & Creativity

Learning Environments

Family & Community Partnerships

Assessment in EC: Assessing the Whole Child


Teaching STEAM

Survey of future teachers' attitudes, dispositions, and beliefs about play in ECE

Play as Equity

Social Justice Standards enfused throughout

NAEYC (2019). Advancing equity in early childhood education. NAEYC.
NAEYC (2020). Developmentally appropriate practice. NAEYC.

Learning for Justice

Play in the Contrast between Education and Care

Reimagining Our Work R.O.W.

Care Circles

Provocations: Keep Wonder and Playful Learning Alive in Teacher Ed

Wonderwalks – Katie Boyle and kids explore learning wherever: A story of learning outdoors

Disclaimer: This site may contain links to web sites not administered by A&M-Commerce or one of its divisions, departments, units or programs. A&M-Commerce is not responsible or liable for the accuracy or the content of the linked pages.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!